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Malindi

One of my friends finally went on a trip with me!!!

I am too excited I almost forgot I have been away for a very long time. I am so sorry so many things have happened since the last time I posted here. Work became crazy and I was low key hoping by the time I post something here our site will be looking better but then si ni life. How have you all been? To all those people who reached out asking what happened to our site, you guys are the best! Thank you.

I started by saying finally a friend of mine went on a trip with me and it was the best thing ever. I hope my other friends will see the photos, get jealous and hopefully come on my next adventure. Who am I kidding most of them are bood’up they won’t come.

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This time the adventure call takes us to Malindi. One of the ancient coastal towns that was home for Portuguese way back before you and I were born. Currently, it is home to the Mijikenda community. Who remembers the composition of the Mijikenda community? Honestly, I didn’t until one of my friends mentioned. Malindi town is located 120km north of Mombasa, 250km South of Lamu and approximately over 550km from Nairobi. This was us ready to hit those five and something Kms because when adventure calls it calls.

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During planning, this was meant to be a chilled trip. I was not to do anything much apart from the chill, laugh, eat, sleep and repeat the whole thing. Our host didn’t agree to this and he made me come up with a brief itinerary of what we were to do while there. I almost told him we were coming to relax because God knows how crazy Nairobi can get plus it had started raining, all we needed was sun and sand break. I simply wrote something and sent him.

We used a Tahmeed night bus to Malindi. In case you have been wondering, this bus is comfortable. It is air-conditioned, with sockets and the seats too are perfect for long-distance. Twelve hours later we get to Malindi and as usual, the heat welcomes us. Not even the heat could stop us plus this was a good break from dramatic Nairobi weather.

For the two of us, this was the ultimate budget travel since we had a host. Ask any budget traveler what it means to be hosted while you are on holiday. It’s more of a jackpot! Let us take a moment and thank heavens for all our friends who live in cities that are mainly visited. You guys are the real MVPs.

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After getting some rest and a brief tour of Malindi town we head to Butwani Bridge for a sundowner. If you have met or read my posts before you probably know that getting me to come is always too easy. All you have to say is there will be a perfect sunset view and I will be sold. Butwani bridge is located not far from Malindi town all you need to do is take a Boda boda or Tuk Tuk and there you will be at the entrance. This is where locals take time to hang out with family and friends and enjoy the beauty of the ocean. Also, along the bridge, you will spot a few people doing business. It is also a swimming spot; you can jump from the top of the bridge into the ocean. Adrenaline junkies, do you copy? I am not one of them, I am still battling with my fear for large water bodies. For real though people jump into the water from the bridge but for the time I was there, I only saw kids do it maybe adults are just boring humans. It is a beautiful place and if you are a photographer visit this place you will love your shots. After a sunset shoot my friends and I call it a day and we leave the bridge.

Charges; FREE

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Do you love birds and Reptiles? Then you have to visit Falconry of Kenya which is a home of birds and reptiles and at the same time it is a tourist center and people get to visit and learn more about birds, reptiles and general awareness.

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Our next stop was Falconry of Kenya. I meet a very happy man at the reception and he answers all the questions I had. We are joined by another group and after getting our tickets he hands us over to our guide Solomon who is a very interesting guy did I mention he is the king of sarcasm? Ask for him if you visit this place you will enjoy. Visiting Falconry just proved how much I fear snakes I couldn’t even touch one that the guide convinced us to be harmless. Is there a snake that is harmless though? Dotty, on the other hand, fears everything and I died when she screamed and ran away.

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Charges; 2 dollars for Kenyans, 4 dollars for residents and 5 dollars for non-residents.

There is beauty in traveling with locals. This time our two friends who live in Malindi took us to Watamu. I was sold from the moment they suggested because who would not want to go to Watamu of all places. We board a matatu from Malindi to Watamu. Thirty minutes later we get to Watamu. We walk to Watamu Marine Park beach and my eyes are in awe! The blue water, clean beach plus the wind blew softly over the palm trees and they swayed beautifully giving a performance of a lifetime. My friends join a group of guys to play football while I just sit and watch them relive their childhood memories laughing their hearts out. I would live in this moment forever since for a moment we were young at heart just laughing, running around and playing around with sand. What is better than this?

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Also, while in Malindi, make sure you visit Vasco Da Gama Pillar. As always there is beauty in relieving history. This place is part of the Malindi National Museum and the ticket you obtain gives you access to the pillar and Portuguese church. Vasco da Gama pillar is a busy place and people are always there.

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These are the only places we managed to visit while in Malindi. I still hope to go back and experience the love of this city. One thing I loved is how peaceful it is, cheap transport and the honesty of the locals. I remember when Dotty and I got lost and everyone we asked was so nice. This made me question which kind of life I am used to. Aye my Nairobi people. Also, Malindi nightlife is expensive could be because of many tourists that live their or maybe that is just how it is. Despite this, we still got a local joint and watched the night fade away and everyone dancing their hearts out.

Thank you to Dotty for making this trip a reality despite everyone bailing out including the brains behind this trip(Funny right?). Brian si you are that guy! For being a good host and showing us places when daktari was busy. To daktari you are special I pray Malindi treats you better and may it be home far away from home.

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Till next time; Tag along your friends on adventures.

Wag Hill+ Malaika Beach

The saddest thing about being normal is that you will never get to know how awesome/amazingly crazy you can be. This is what Safari ya Nyegezi was all about. Going on all extremes from operating on few hours of sleep to lying under the night sky and laughing our hearts out and later on asking what exactly that was about.

After checking out of Isamilo lodge, if you haven’t read that post then si you pause first and read Bismarck Rocks + Isamilo Lodge We drive to outskirts of Mwanza city because you could tell by how many tall buildings that could be spotted on your way to Wag hill and also the road we used. That’s how we know we are in a city right? If not I already told you I’m a small town girl and where I come from, that’s how we know cities are.

That short drive through a rough road, slightly sloppy covered by short green bushes and hills on the side led us to Wag Hill Resort. It looks simple from the entrance but harbors lots of surprises once you go in. Remember how we are always told not to be fast to show people what we’ve got? No one said this I am just trying to force things here you get the drift? Wag hill took that advice seriously by the way and she therefore hid everything and for you to see what she has you had to take time and uncover her gems.

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New friends.

On arrival we are given a very warm welcome by a guy I missed his name and sadly I didn’t see him again to actually get his name right. He’s all smiles and goes ahead to tell us how beautiful the place is and leaves it up to us to discover the rest. This place is a hub of so many activities from paint balling, fishing, cycling on the beautiful terrain, horse riding, boat riding and during which you can do a sunset cruise and have a time of your life especially if you love such views. Also you can decide to do a brief hike through beautiful stones that have mastered the art of defying gravity and eventually end up at Maasai boma.

Hiking towards Maasai Boma

At first when we were told we would eventually end up at the Maasai boma, I imagined of a place probably a historical site that once hosted Maasai’s. To my surprise they live there and for them that has been, is and will always be home. Their life revolves around that place. As much as it was a simple structure for us, for them it was more than that. They cook, eat sleep and when they have visitors like on this particular day they entertain their guests. I don’t know if it’s only me but I get so amazed when someone does what they love passionately giving it their all. It was a beautiful performance and we ended up joining and we had a test of what they were doing and even discovering that jumping like they always do is an extreme sport especially if you are unfit. I walk down Maasai Boma much happier than I came. We are all left in awe with some of us asking different questions we didn’t have answers to but then there is always something to learn right?

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At the entrance of the Boma.
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Our hosts giving us a performance.

Lunch is served at the restaurant with a perfect view of the lake. We got a chance to taste the famous Tanzanian delicacy Chips Mayai and later enjoyed most of the activities at Wag hill as we captured memories. Then there were those who decided to just sit and have a chance to have conversations with each other as we laughed our hearts out. Honestly I live for moments where you are with friends, having genuine conversations and having that one laugh that probably you have longed for could be since forever.

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Wag hill restaurant from another angle.
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Wag Hill by night.

The sun was finally retiring and this moment right here was one that I had waited for simply because we were to go on a sunset cruise. Just so you know,this was another reason why I booked this particular trip. There is a part of me that gets excited when the sky is in different colors and this cruise was a must for me however much I fear water bodies. Just so you know I was among the first people on that boat just so as to get a perfect spot and be able to take in the beauty of her majesty as she disappeared into the lake leaving us with a dark sky and her beautiful scent to take in. For me this was it and even if we were to be told to start our journey back, I would definitely come back very contented. Wag hill is very beautiful and the beauty is enhanced at night. If you are a photographer try this little miss she won’t disappoint you since she has her poses at the back of her hand. We dock and you can tell from the murmurs that it was really worth it.Dinner is served still at the same spot we had lunch and having been a long day you could tell we were ready to leave and taste the lasts of Mwanza.

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The face you make when all you see is a perfect view.

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That cruise brought this.

After a long short drive we drive into Malaika Beach resort and since it was at night you could barely see much but then all we knew was that it was yet another night to hopefully discover something interesting. We check into our rooms and yet again I was really amazed by this beauty. The rooms were spacious, way spacious than some Nairobi bedsitters he he. The usual suspects meet one last time to perform rituals and hopefully get a goodbye hug from Mwanza and silently hope that what they had strived to build during the last few days would somehow last. More people joined us this time and we all departed for Rock Bottom which was not very far from Galaxy but in the spirit of sampling we opted otherwise. Truth be told this was an interesting night for all over us and even us the rest of us went to sleep we night owls still went on. This night ends and we have a stopover somewhere along the way. What’s more awesome than feasting on chips kuku at five in the morning? I bet you can’t think of anything because that is life.

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Malaika Beach residences.

I wake up thinking it’s still early reason why, I don’t know. It was raining and since this crew was full of crazy people, some opted to swim. For me that was a no go zone despite how inviting the pool was. Just saw you know this is one of the most beautiful infinity pools I have seen so far. How she hugs the lake was a sight to behold. Also the views of the lake while at the infinity pool is priceless.

View of the Lake from the Infinity pool.

I head for breakfast and ladies and gentlemen boys and girls, I get confused by what I see. Growing up I hadn’t imagined that a day will come when yours truly would have a champagne breakfast. You heard it right it was a champagne breakfast at Malaika beach as we watched the rain hitting the glass windows with a lot of furry hoping we would care but not this time champagne had our attention. I am sitted wondering what really beats that moment there and I couldn’t think of anything.

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Interior of Malaika Beach Restaurant.
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Spot the Champagne?

Being the last day we had a very brief time at Malaika beach. Despite that rainy morning we still got a chance to walk along the beach and even make silent and loud wishes because truth be told Mwanza had been good to us and if we had a chance to spend an extra night we wouldn’t think twice.

It’s finally time to depart and like always goodbyes are the hardest at least for me that I am sure and given the moments shared it was even harder. We leave hoping to one day return and complete all our unfinished businesses and if possible spend more nights. The journey back was rather silent since that is when reality dawned on us that hadn’t slept the whole weekend that it was a wrap. That silence was filled with so many things from thoughts that wandered to hearts wishing they could remain, but then when duty calls we have to obey. If only that silence could be voiced, we would have one of the best stories ever.

We get to the boarder just in time for clearance and by 10pm we were done and started our journey back to Nairobi. This was the hardest part for me honestly and for a moment I wished I could teleport and get this journey over with. It’s way silent than it was few days ago probably reality was just settling in and some needed to digest what they had seen. This is the point I say that when traveling to Mwanza, all you need is a passport and a yellow fever vaccine. You can get a temporary one on e-citizen website for Ksh 300. Also while clearing just make sure you clear on both Kenyan and Tanzanian side. If you don’t you might end up getting arrested or even not getting to your destination. Several hours later we arrive in Nairobi obviously not the same way we left the previous day.

It was a beautiful trip and you could tell because a week after this trip was long gone, no one had left that group. I think when you spend like 16 plus hours with the same people, you guys develop some sort of silent bond and leaving becomes a problem. Could be that you silently feel attached. Special thanks to everyone who showed up for Safari ya Nyegezi, you guys are awesome and I hope I get to see you again soon, Mercy thank you for being an awesome roommate and team kurogwa I won’t say much.

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Safari ya Nyegezi Crew.

Thank you so much Keitan Safaris for this thrilling adventure keep doing what you do.

Photo Credits; Brent Focus and Richard

Till next time, I hope you find something exciting.

Bismarck Rocks + Isamilo Lodge

10,000 years later this post is finally up. Sorry for keeping you guys waiting and to everyone who reached out to ask about this post, you are all special.

Weeks later ‘Kwetu Mwanza Nyegezi’ is still playing in my head despite this trip been long gone.

Truth be told Safari ya Mwanza was one long trip. Probably the longest roadtrip I have had since I am only used to travelling from Siaya-Nairobi. Hee don’t give me that look I am a small town girl and will always be. This is one of those trips that you will start a relationship with your seatmate have your perfect relationship with arguments once in a while but at the end give each other a shoulder literally because we all need support when we doze off.

Facts about Mwanza

  • Mwanza is a port city on the shore of Lake Victoria. It has a population of about 2.8 million.
  • It’s ringed by green hills. They city is known for unusual rock formations like the Bismarck rocks.
  • Majorly occupied by four tribes; Wasukuma, Wakerewe,Wakara and Wazinza. The Wasukumu dominates the region.
  • Mode of transport; road, rail, water and air.

This was yet another group trip organized be Keitan Safaris. By now you guys know I love group travels one because it saves you money and two if you are lucky you will make one or two friends. For this particular trip we depart from Nairobi on Friday at 7pm, so that we make it to the boarder on time. This was yet another solo trip for me though I knew other people we had met on such trips. I find a seat and this time my seatmate is Kasee a very funny guy whose love for books will leave you admiring how much he knows his writers, books and every other thing he loves.

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The whole crew

After few stopovers we pull over at the boarder at around five in the morning and we all head to the immigration office for clearance on both Kenyan and Tanzanian side. We manage to catch a beautiful sunrise too bad it was not photographed due to boarder rules. So that magical sunrise in no man’s land is just stuck somewhere in our minds. How I wish we could be able to make print outs from our brains especially for such amazing brain captures.

Hours later we drive off Sirare border towards Mwanza also known as Rock city. Excitement was clearly kicking in, you could hear people making small talks while some of us just stared out of the window and kept on wondering how a city could have so many rocks. The most interesting thing is that the locals have found a way to build their homes in between those rocks and believe you me they are beautiful homes. Mwanza is approximately six hours from the boarder and since we were adventure seekers we had to find a way of surviving through despite how tired we were. From admiring nature to having conversations with different people on every other thing that can be talked about under the sun. Somehow miracles happened or let’s say having conversations with people will somehow make time move fast.

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Bismarck Rock garden.

Do you know that look a little baby will give the mum when she finally comes home after being away for a long time? No you guys don’t see it. Imagine having a plate of your favorite meal after a hunger fest. That was us when we finally got to Mwanza. It was a mixture of excitement, sigh of reliefs and now that we arrived in time for sun downer it was even better.We drive to bismarck rock gardens and dearly beloved neither my mind nor my eyes were ready for the beauty that welcomed us. Green garden somewhere in the park along the shores of the lake was a sight to behold. This park is frequented by locals which makes it even more busier although Bismarck Rock gardens though is a private. It gets its name from the bismarck rocks that you can easily spot in the lake.

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Us making sure we strike a pose with Bismarck rocks in view.

Lunch is served and it is a fish party as we try communicating with the locals with our ‘little’ Swahili which we later discovered should only be used to communicate while in Kenya because of how we struggled. We forced Tanzanian accent which ended up coming out in a funny way but we didn’t stop which made the locals have a field day laughing at us. While at Bismark Rock Gardens you can do a boat ride to bismark rocks and get views of a lifetime or even strike poses that could be the beginning of your modelling career.

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Vero and I doing the most.
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Look at that! Sunset captures with part of the crew.

After perfect sunset shots we leave Bismark for Isamilo Lodge where we spent the night. Remember when I said I was not ready? That is the truth, the rooms are too spacious the staff are really amazing and they patiently answered all our questions. Dinner is later on served by the poolside as others do their photo-shoot. For me this was a perfect night and I couldn’t help but imagine what more Mwanza had to offer because it looked like I was not going to keep up.

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Accommodation at Isamilo lodge.

Ever imagined a perfect night? Good music somewhere in the background, star filled sky, good people, innocent giggles with your most favorite drink in hand? That was this particular night. Happiness could be felt as you could hear giggles while others sung along to their favorite songs you’d mistake it for Karaoke night because when we Kenyans arrive then just know we came to conquer.

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Meal time at Isamilo
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Isamilo lodge by night.

A night is never complete in a new town if you don’t sample their night life and that is exactly what we did. Together with a few friends -aye team kurogwa- we went to get a taste of what Mwanza night life was. This the point we thank heavens for such amazing/energetic souls. Mwanza is that good girl who doesn’t show up at the club early, she has to wait for her parents to go to bed so that she can sneak out and have the time of her life and when Sauti sol said ‘we go and dance the night away’ this is Mwanza, she is that girl. Anyway night life this other side of the world starts after midnight. I know someone is asking how? Hahaha we Kenyans are just party holics. Having done our homework right we end up at Club Galaxy. I still do remember that ride, the driver was excited and talked to us all through in Swahili we barely understood. Who were we, we forced our Swahili accents and it made the conversation even funnier. In my head all I am thinking of is if Tanzanians are usually that friendly. This was up to us to find out I guess.

It was an awesome night and on our way back we found another friendly cab driver and he ended up suggesting places we should visit the next day. We are dropped off at the hotel and we call it a night/morning.

It is now day two, we go for breakfast and head for a morning swim which eventually turned into a pool party. This was it since some of us really needed it having only slept for an hour or so. I remember Winnie, Juelz and I making fun about how we will sleep when we came back to Nairobi just know it was a terrible idea.

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A toast to life with Juelz, Kasee and Gaucho
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Pool party moments.

It is time to check out from Isamilo lodge and somehow this broke my heart. The staff made us feel so welcomed even though I didn’t understand most of their Swahili words. Also Isamilo lodge is a very beautiful place that I would vouch for any day any time. If you ever find yourself in Mwanza and you need a place to spend a night or two check out this place.

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View of Mwanza city from Isamilo
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Moments at Isamilo
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How about a pose with the hosts.

Next part of this trip is coming up and you can’t afford to miss it. 😊

Photo Credits: Brent Focus and Richard

Till next time, Live, Love, Learn, Travel

Climb Blue Sky

Happy New Month! This post has been very comfortable in my drafts for some reason I don’t know. Is it only me or April moved too fast? Anyway May we make the best out of this new month. Shall we?

For me going out of the house is usually an extreme sport and most of the time I cancel a lot of plans. I know someone will ask why I am saying this yet I travel once in a while. Truth is I do not know either. Some days I have a legit excuse for not showing up but then on some days I just sit and decide that my four walls feel much safer. Yvonne gave up on me by the way because she has tried meeting me so many times in town but for some reason I always don’t show up. So one day I wake up, check my WhatsApp and it is Yvonne again and this time she has a poster about something and my cheeky self comments ‘we are going’ not knowing she was not going to let this go.

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How about we pose for the gram before we start?

In those so many words, all I am saying is getting me to come is not always that hard, just mention an adventure especially if it is something I have never done or heard of before, my curious self will show up. That is how I ended up going to Climb Blue Sky at valley arcade next to Kobil petrol station. Thank you to Yvonne and her friends who showed up and made this a really awesome experience. Climb bluesky at Valley arcade is Bluesky’s newest baby and on this day the place was officially being opened and we had a chance to climb for free. They are opened everyday Monday to Sunday, for exact timings and rates kindly check there website or Facebook page. Now you know why I couldn’t miss. 😃 They also have a branch at diamond plaza in Parklands which is usually opened daily. Just to be thorough with what they do, when you get there you sign something that looks like a consent form I remember when signing mine Yvonne joked about me signing my death sentence. For minors their guardians have to there. So this can also be a family fun day in case you were wondering if children can climb too.

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Orientation before the climb.
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My spider self

One thing I loved about bluesky is that we lazy people who are always going to the gym in our dreams can at least work out without our minds noticing that we are working out. All I am saying is that this is also a gym and many people frequent this place after a long day at work to just unwind and hopefully think things over. Since we have all dreamt of working out at least once in our lives show up your mind will not register what you doing to your body. Also if you are part of baeless batallion and your friends are bood’up all weekend show up at Blue sky you will not regret I promise.

 

 

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When Yvonne’s Inner spider self came out to play.

The staff at Climb Bluesky are very friendly and patient with everyone so if you are a first timer don’t worry they will show you everything and even show you how to run on air in case of danger. Hahaha I am playing but then they will show you all you need to know about climbing. Biggest shout out to the staff that hosted us during the grand opening you are all amazing.

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Climbing team, Lilian is missing she was the photographer.

Thank you so much Climb Bluesky Valley arcade for having us this is something all adrenaline junkies and people who are curious like me should try. I hope I see most of  you next time when I visit Bluesky.

Do not settle on boring weekends again go out Adventure is calling!

Till next time; Let’s go on more adventures.

Domestic Tourism In Kenya

By. Kevin Mbugua K.

Gorgeous! The only word in mind that seems suitable to describe Kenya. The energy, the friendly people, the rich culture, the terrain, wonders of the world and wildlife will simply blow your mind away!

This breathtaking beauty is what has seen the Kenyan tourism docket grow gradually into one of the highest revenue generators for the country, bringing in billions of shillings. According to the CS for Tourism Najib Balala, Kenya received over 1.4 million tourists and earned Kshs.120 Billion in 2017 alone. The Kenya Tourism Board anticipates growth of the industry by 16% by mid 2019.

Kenya’s tourism sector has been a dominant revenue source for years. The natural attractions have always drawn tourists from around the globe, centering Kenya as a prominent tourist destination. However, domestic tourism has not always been so celebrated, especially in the past decade. Even now, domestic tourists are not a common sight. All the same, it has been growing over the past three years, with the youth leading the path of local exploration.

Domestic tourism in Kenya has been hampered by three factors over the past few years; ignorance, economic capacity and most of all, a lack of curiosity. For the most choosing to travel is dependent on the level of wonder and curiosity of an individual. Most Kenyans are preoccupied with earning money and often consider night life as the first choice for fun. Moreover, there is a general assumption that travel must be expensive. For the most part, if you ask a Kenyan about traveling, they will likely think of the diaspora first.

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Phenny enjoying sunset at safari village in Mbita.

Fortunately, this is gradually changing through the efforts of homegrown travel bloggers such as Phenny Odera and Jean Wandimi in combination with the Kenya Tourism Board. Jean started as a wine and food blogger, but gradually become more interested in travel and began following her curiosity. Her purpose is to expose affordable travel destinations within the country such as Leopard Beach Hotel in Diani. Phenny on the other hand, has been obsessed with sunrises and sunsets and captures them from different beautiful places and makes a really artistic gallery as displayed on her instagram profile. The ultimate goal is to show people how inexpensive travel can be, and the more unexplored areas of Kenya. The Kenya Tourism Board has also encouraged domestic tourism through the introduction of reduced domestic rates and partnering up with vloggers and bloggers to market Kenya. With improvements like this, domestic tourism has been rising, and more people have developed an interest in travel. Perhaps, one of these days I might bump into you at a tourist site.

Table Mountain

When you hear ‘table’ you think of something flat or something close to that right? Well that is exactly what I had in mind when we set out for the Aberdares Table Mountain hike! Was it what I heard in mind? NO! Was it close at least? He he he maybe you wait a little bit because I will tell you. Ladies and gentlemen this was a table that I hadn’t seen before but I remembered having been told how these mountains surprise people every time so I warmed out to my surprise.

We eventually leave at 0500hrs and start our road trip. Somewhere along the way we get a view of a beautiful sunrise and just to mention the countryside view was to die for especially if the only thing you are used to is the chaotic Nairobi traffic.

Four hours from Nairobi city you turn off a tarmac road into a dusty road which leads you to Wanjohi which was to be our starting point. Table Mountain is one of the mountains in the Aberdares ranges and truth is altitude in the Aberdares is usually not loyal just so you know. One day you go and experience nothing then you return and altitude sickness takes toll on you. Somewhere on this ranges you will find Elephant Hills. I joined Keitan Safaris for this day hike also they are the same people I went with to Kijabe/Kinale Forest Hike.

As you turn into a half tarmac and dusty road you can see Table Mountain, when I saw it I felt scared and even had second thoughts of going up. Then it hit me I had not taken that long drive just to give up now.

We walk to our starting point and I come to a sudden stop because of the steep dusty slope that stared at me right in the face as if to tell me ‘You didn’t think it was going to be that easy, did you?’ I crane my neck and see a small river at the end and I know that is it. A few people find me standing there and all I heard was ‘Oh my God’ followed by Mercy screaming down the slope without breaks and someone at the front had to stop her. The fact that I am writing this means I made it to the other side.

Stretches are done and our hike begins.

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The whole team stretching

Remember when I mentioned about how I interpreted a table? I was in shock when we started this. You do not even get a chance to adjust that you are going up a mountain. The steep start is really tough and I know of one lady who had given up and even offered to go back and wait for everyone else on the bus. Then from nowhere someone tells her she cannot go back because she doesn’t own that bus and I almost laughed. The look on her face made me smile she didn’t believe this reply then si you know that look of defeat someone wears? That was her face in summary. She overdoses on glucose (read cocaine) because the next time I saw her was when we summited. We continue with this difficult climb making small talks and taking photos because as we all know the Aberdares is really beautiful.

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I will let the expressions on this picture speak.
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Let my face not deceive this place was no joke.

We finally get a flat part and before we could even live in the moment it ended. Like we always say adventure is not an adventure unless you get lost right? Part of our team got lost and all we could hear is them shouting somewhere deep in the forest. They eventually found their way and we went on climbing. This time it was dusty and for people, my height we walked through with a lot of ease. At this point I am laughing at tall people because of their complaints then I remind them how they constantly share memes about us. Something in me wants to tell them how Karma is serving them but I remember I am a good person so I smile and keep walking.

I don’t know when it happened exactly but I realised we were the last people. Those people I was to laugh at must have heard me laugh internally and decided to walk faster so that I couldn’t catch up with my small strides. Being the last people it got hard at times since  a few of us wanted to give up but we had promised ourselves not to unless we had no other option. Biggest shout out to Chief Moses may God bless your soul for me yaani we got to a point where we yelled at this guy and even threatened  to stop being friends with him if he doesn’t tell us the truth on how far we were from the summit. He was calm and he just stood there looking at us left with no words. All in all, he did not give up on us.

I have always underestimated stories but on this day these stories came through. I am the type of person who prefers walking silently and creating weird scenarios inside my head but on this day this did not happen. We had conversations with very amazing ladies, stopping once in a while to rest and take in the beauty we were walking through. One of us lifts her head and she shouts telling us she can see the summit and we all turn in unison and dearly beloved that summit stares at us with a lot of love as if to ask where we had been and why we took so long to get there. I wish she could talk though rather than just staring. Just before the summit or rather where we were seeing the summit from is the moorlands. The vegetation here is neatly arranged and you left wondering how it even happened but then there is always something about nature that we can never understand.

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The moorlands from a distance
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This beauty somewhere in the moorlands.
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Summit from a distance

Getting to the summit is rather a hard rocky climb than I expected. It is tough for a very short distance that leaves you questioning why you have to go past that place anyway because one you can see the summit and you can talk to people already there. Finally after 4 hours we summit and as always my excitement is usually evident since I disapprove myself every time. Views from up here are therapeutic and everything is just too peaceful. I manage to spot the lady that wanted to go back and you my people will not believe it. She had summited long before us and was way more energetic than us who kept telling her that she can’t go back and even giving her reasons why she should summit. She looks at us and smiles probably saying thank you or something. We sit and have our snacks as we wait for Tonny as the others left. See Tonny is a man who refused to give up and just let this mountain embarrass him like that. He struggled but guess what he summited and we were all so happy for him.

We got too comfortable at the summit and it dawned on us we should leave when it started raining. We start descending and as usual it is always tough.

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At the summit with the power team. I hope you spot chief Moses

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Still, this part is usually my worst because this hurts your knees and since table mountain is steep and the descent is not interesting. We take our time being tempted to sit once in a while and we all know the consequences of sitting, standing is usually a problem. Somewhere along the way, we meet cows which end up chasing us and everyone forgets how tired they are and we just run. Come to think of it, why did those cows chase us, or when you are a cow and a hiker at the same time you can just chase people? Do you feel like you are the King of cows or something better than that? Anyway, after falling sliding we eventually get to the bottom and all I wanted was to stretch my feet because as usual, my knees were not having a time of their life. This is like two hours later simply because we ran at some point downhill which I knew very well consequences were yet to come but all I wanted was to get down.

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Somewhere on the mountain living in the moment.

When we get to the bus people expected us to be tired but on the contrary, we were very energetic and danced all the way to the bus. We leave Wanjohi very happy people having humbled Table Mountain, some promised to go back but for me, I am not sure. After a late lunch at Swatch Place in Nairobi, we are dropped off at International life and this marks the end of this adventurous tiring day.

Biggest shout out also to Tonny you taught me something on this day as we went up this mountain. You are a real MVP and in my life on this earth may I never give up just like you didn’t despite being left behind and the guard having offered to take you back. I am proud of you plus seeing you dance after descent gave me joy.

Also to our guards continue being awesome people like you are special humans and to Keitan, thank you for making this happen, it is always a good time.

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Our faces when we finally saw the bus also Tonny is right at the front.

Till Next time;

Let us go on those adventures that scare us the most.

Photo credits- Brent Focus

Elephant Hills

Happy New Year!! Happy Valentine’s! How have you all been?

You see sometimes when the gods want you to do something you will just do it however much you escape. I have escaped hiking Elephant hills since my Kijabe hike simply because I could not imagine the torture plus I had been told elephant hill is no child play. After declining three invites I finally joined Xtrym Adventures on a day hike to Elephant hills.

We departed from Nairobi at 6.a.m from International life House. I was scared and was unsure of myself if I would summit since I know of serious hikers who told me how tough this hill is. During our journey to Njabini, I kept on staring out of the window imagining how I had decided to meet my death halfway and also how my parents are going to come for my body from the Aberdares. From where I sat I could hear different stories everyone narrating how this hill is not loyal. Luckily I fall asleep and only wake up as we approach Njabini forest gate. The place is full and I can not help thinking of how people are passionate about hiking. As I get out of the bus I hear someone asking ‘Are you ready?’ I remember mumbling a quick ‘mentally yes’ despite the fact that I was not sure if I was ready.

Warm up is done, we get introduced to our ranger, lead guides for the day and then the hike begins.

Our hike begins at Njabini forest gate towards a dusty road, where the terrain is moderate and everyone is very chatty as they catch up with friends they had not seen in a while. I am still quiet thinking of how this day is going to unfold then from nowhere it started raining and yours truly here did not have a raincoat. I guess this is the point I say the weather at elephant hill is very unpredictable make sure you are well armed and don’t forget to have good shoes because this can always turn into a muddy affair. We get to the main gate, I say a silent prayer about how we should stick to this particular terrain. We are told to dress down because here the rain had stopped and it was getting hot. I later learnt that when you feel hot while hiking you are likely to give your body a hard time thus making you get tired.

The sign board of the bamboo forest can now be seen clearly and dearly beloved this is where life happens. Why do I say so? Here you you walk through a forest that the terrain constantly changes and you find yourself holding on to the bamboos for support also you can get a stick maximum support is needed as you go through the forest. The altitude also changes here and we are now at approximately 2900 Above Sea Level which continued changing as we climbed on. It is really beautiful since the bamboos do form a canopy at the top which was very beautiful from where I was and even the path are  really amazing. Along the way you see elephant footprints and other animal droppings which constantly remind you that you are in a reserve.

After walking tirelessly the bamboo forest clears and you get to the point of Desparado also known as the point of despair. Ladies and gentlemen this is indeed the point of despair since you get to decide if you will summit or not also you get to asses your body if both of you are all on the same page. From a distance on your right, you can see Sasuma dam and Ndakaini Dam on the left oblivious of us nature trailers and just going about their usual business.We have a quick snack break take a few photos then we keep walking.

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Views from the point of Desparado.

Before we could even go far, the terrain changes to a rocky one and it keeps on getting steeper as we walked further. Due to altitude changes, you start feeling altitude sickness kicking in. I used to hear people talk about altitude sickness and thought it is something you can ignore. No, you cannot instead keep on hydrating it helps you manage it. Remember when I mentioned how chatty people were? At this point, no one is talking and you do not need to strain to hear the hills gossiping. Later on, I learnt this part is called the elephant’s back which clearly explains the toughness. The elephant cannot be minding her own business and you are there trying to walk on her back. You have to experience difficulty.

Botany enthusiasts would definitely enjoy this part because of the plants you see on your way up and how they are neatly arranged as you make your way up. I did not manage to take a photo because one it was drizzling the mist kept on clearing and coming back and lastly it was windy and I was struggling to find balance because if you have a weight like mine, that wind might decide to blow you away and I do not want to make my earlier thoughts about my parents coming for my body from the Aberdares a reality.

After an endless walk, I say endless because the person behind kept on asking people descending how far the summit was from where we were and everyone said almost yet we were still not there. Also, I forgot to mention I saw a 5 year old descending and I was like some parents know how to torture their babies ama that is how they punish them? I would rather get my strokes and sleep crying. Anyway, I just digressed. The trail finally levels off and at this point, I am completely done and I am asking myself why I even took up this challenge in the first place. Wait! Was it even a challenge ama I just decided to cause my own death. As my thoughts ran wild my eyes caught a view of the summit and I could hear people screaming. You know those shouts our mothers make when they are celebrating or when you have made them proud? I would have said ululations but they were not. For a moment I wished I could fly and land at the summit because it was not far the problem was my feet were done with this plan.

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Faking a smile just before the summit

On your way you pass the remains of SAX aircraft but interestingly I did not see it, I only saw it after I had passed. Finally, I got to the summit and I have never been this proud of my self. In order to believe, I moved closer to the board at the summit and the words there made my eyes teary. ‘THE ULTIMATE HIKING DESTINATION CONGRATULATIONS!’ It was freezing but then I had to take photo so that when someone argues with me I can show them this picture and tell them I deserve respect. Before my excitement could settle in, it started raining but this time hailstones. I was completely done with this mountain that they mistakenly called a hill.

One thing we should be constantly reminded is that going up a mountain/hill is optional but coming down is a must. This is the descent that makes you regret going up and make you just want to throw yourself all the way to the bottom. This descent takes a toll on your knees and you are just left there wondering what life is if your own knees cannot even support you. Going down was harder than I thought and I remember somewhere along the way we even saw an imaginary buffalo and got lost somewhere but this is what adventure is all about right?

Despite my sore feet and aching knees, it  was a beautiful evening and the sky was covered with clouds, a rainbow, the sun through those clouds that gave her a had time, she still peeped through and I managed to get a shot. We finally get to our starting point,I was extremely proud of myself because no one in our family would dare walk for 8 hours and try covering 19 KMS so technically I am my ancestors favorite.

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Sunset view Njabini Forest Gate

I am sorry I do not have nice photos, I had all my poses in mind but then life happened. I was so in the moment and this hill did not give me a chance. I promise to go back and capture all those amazing views for you my people. Also all the best to the team to those we hiked with on this particular weekend, guuuys they are climbing Mount Kilimanjaro next week!! Go ye all and conquer Kili.

Special shout out to the Team Leader Xtrym Adventures. He constantly checked on us first timers and gave us several reasons why we need to summit. Thank you.

Till next time; Happy Hiking.

SERENE, TRANQUIL AND PEACEFUL

These are the words that perfectly describe my weekend at Oloiden camp in Naivasha which is located in Rift valley approximately three hours drive from Nairobi. It is one of those trips that got me excited for all reasons first because it was Naivasha and secondly I needed to go away from this city’s madness. Those last months had been insanely tough and I needed sometime away just to breathe.

As usual Keitan Safaris had me covered for this particular trip because usually he is my go to person when I want to travel and take to book new experiences. I booked my slot and Voilà we was ready for this particular weekend.

I was in town by 0630hrs and we later on departed at 0700hrs from International Life House within the CBD and proceeded for a brief stopover to shop for breakfast and we started our journey. This was yet another solo trip though there were few faces I had met before from previous trips. The bus I was in was fun because what do you expect when you put people who have had a tough week at work and all that they want to do is unwind? Specifically where I sat he he he I have never seen such crazy ladies! Special shout out to them they made this trip awesome. I bet everyone remembers them. Anyway memories are made of such people right?

We had our first stopover at Rift valley view point and this place steals my heart every time. I have been here more than once but the views are still amazing. Thereafter there was another stopover at Italian old church where we took photos and learnt more about the church as I wrote here.

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Rift valley viewpoint
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Inside Italian Old church.

 

Having no other stop over we drove straight to Naivasha admiring how beautiful this country is. Truth is I do use this route going to my village but for some reason on this day it was different I don’t why though. Maybe we just need such weekends to make us appreciate some things.

Few hours later we drive into Crater lake Resort and dearly beloved, I have never seen such a peaceful place. The silence, the trees made very awesome views that looked perfect to me. -Dear future Bae if you ever get to read this let us go to crater lake Resort both of us will love it-. This crater lake was formed as a result of volcanic eruptions that occurred on this region. Also it is a saline lake because it has no tributaries. This place also has tented camps that can be used so if you want to book you can have a look at their website or talk to Keitan.

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Crater lake Resort
Views from Crater lake view point

Hours later we pullover at the shores of  Lake Naivasha for lunch and truth be told this was my favorite place. Guess what we had for lunch!!! Fish and Ugali my people and to even make it better everyone got served with two fish. (I can still picture the fish on my plate) Imagine having lunch on the shores of the lake, cool breeze, amazing people heee your problems are forced to go on leave I swear. We finish our lunch and go check in at Oloiden camp which was not far away.

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Lunch at the shores of Lake Victoria
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One human two fish hihi

I was to say camping but then this was a glam-ping experience. Why do I say so? Our tents were already pitched and all you needed to do was pick one. Also our meals were being prepared. What is better than this really? We had Team building activities and trust you me this was interesting and everyone gave their best because we is a competing nation. Games, dances and just having a good time was the climax of our evening as we freshened up and waited for our dinner later in the evening to continue with bonfire adventures such as salsa, kizomba late into the night.

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Aerial view of Oloiden Campsite.

Day 2 was awesome breakfast was served right on time and this is one of those perfect Saturdays far away from home. Why do I say this? You wake up to a hot shower in very clean bathrooms in the morning then have your breakfast with a perfect view of Lake Oloiden. For sunrise chasers like me my day started early and that sunrise was the most beautiful thing I have seen in a while and maybe the photo will not do it justice.

Sunrise at Oloiden
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Breakfast at Oloiden Resort

After breakfast everyone goes to do what they want since there are activities such as boatriding on Lake Oloiden. My water phobia could not allow me to try this however much I was convinced to. From what I was told by everyone who went is that the view is amazing. By now you should have realised I live for views. There’s a special place in my heart that beats for perfect views and everything fine. After all our activities are done we  meet for a debrief and cake cutting for November babies after which we leave the campsite for Burch’s resort for swimming. It was a beautiful afternoon spent dancing and just having a good time in the pool hihi though still I did not swim maybe next time I will. We leave Naivasha for Nairobi and three hours later the bus pulls over at International Life House again marking the end of our weekend getaway.

I still could not believe that in a span of 2 days we had been to three different lakes. Sounds unbelievable right? May be you should try it I also did not believe at first when I was told they are three lakes. This whole trip costed, 5800 kenyan shillings all inclusive.

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Views of Lake Oloiden

This was one of those amazing trips I have had this year. Last year if you asked me if I would pack my bags and go to a new place with strangers I would have told you no. I am proud of myself and definitely next year we are traveling more and just rediscovering beautiful parts of this country.

 

Biggest shout-out to Keitan safaris I can’t wait to see what destinations 2019 has in store and thank you for always helping in creating memories. Secondly Brent Focus; He is the magician behind the lens. The photos are amazing right? Thank you for the beautiful captures and my people he loves what he does if you have your private events look for him.

Till Next time; Live love and go on more adventures.

Craazy 20s

 

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Photo credits; Google

It is a series of uncertainties, fear and several breakdowns. This is the period that some of your friends are getting married and as for you, you just got out of a serious relationship. Your finances on the other hand need prayer and fasting and not to mention you are loosing those friends that you thought would last a lifetime. I do not know what really goes on here all I know is that I  want to resign from being an adult and just go back to my parents house because looking back life was simple then.

Maybe I am the only one but I have felt defeated, questioned the meaning of life and at times even cried through the night. It gets confusing by day because at some point you do not enjoy those things that you loved doing, you are always tired and you keep living on hope that things will get better. Someone told me this is a sign of depression of which I haven’t been able to verify.

A few days ago I talked to a few friends of mine out of curiosity to know if they are also struggling and if they do what do they do to cope. Majority told me this season is crazy and all they are trying to do is mastering the art of survival. Which is true everything is hard from our economy to our day to relationships everything has changed. So I asked how they survive when these high tides rock their boats. One said they are always calling on God and that prayer has become their only refuge. They further say that is the only place they feel safe and are sure no one will judge them. Which is true all you need at times is a place you feel safe, where you can just cry and be yourself. She told me if it ever gets tough just go on your knees.

Our thoughts usually tend to be really loud and to stay sane we choose to be in the company of our friends. Amy Poehler says; I want to be around people that do things. I do not want to be around people that talk or judge what people do. I want to be around people that dream and support. I totally agree with this because you should always find people who encourage you to be better. How many of us are afraid of talking to people because we don’t know what to expect in return? Do we have those friends that will show up when we are at our darkest point? Truth is there are days you need someone to vent to but then if they drain you every time you are with them then what’s the point? Work your way out and find one or two friends that you can count on those people you are sure you can call them at 3 a.m. and you are sure they will show up. Things get easier when they are talked about. I am not sure about this though I have not learnt talking what is bothering me.

My favorite answer was when one friend told me that life has become hard so Bora uhai. I know we are used to this saying,  it has become part of us. What is the point of living or surviving when you do not enjoy it. I believe it gets tiring at some point but then if you find your way through then you are good to go. I also believe that the Bora uhai team are the greatest survivors of all time and they believe in survival which is a good thing.

Some days are going to be hard some will be really good and then there will be those days that we will not know what is really happening. I pray you survive and take each moment as it comes because we may live complaining about our twenties and miss out on all beautiful moments. I know there will not be any other time you will be this confused and overwhelmed so enjoy everything that comes with it and make this story as interesting as you can. Remember it is okay to breakdown once in a while, take a break once and most importantly allow yourself to get lost.

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Just like wine it gets better with age. 😊 Breathe,breathe some more and slay your twenties.

Are your twenties chaotic as mine? Kindly share how you are surviving this season.

Till next time loves; Read and Share.

Kijabe/Kinale Forest Hike

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When was the last time you did something for the first time? This is the question I asked myself sometime in June this year. I have never gone for a hike before and to say the truth the fact that you will come back with an aching body or totally sore feet always made me not think of it at all. This time round I decided to take up the challenge because there is always that one urge that never gives you peace especially if your birthday is approaching. Thank God I have a friend who owns Keitan Safaris ( Yes Kevin we are now friends😂) and I had seen he was to go for a hike around the same time. I remember asking him how the terrain was and if people who had never gone for a hike before would manage. He re-assured me; ladies and gentlemen that is how I found myself paying for a hike.

It was finally hiking day and yours truly here was too psyched up and for the first time I did not struggle to wake up.( hihi this is where you clap) I made it to town on time and made my way to International Life House where we were to meet. At exactly 7 am we left Nairobi for Kijabe. We travelled in a spacious bus, everyone was excited about this new adventure and for first timers like me joy was evident. I sat next to a friend of mine I had met during our last trip and just so you know guys she influenced me going for this hike.

We stopped over at Riftvalley view point for a brief photo shoot and just admire our beautiful country. If you have been here you know how beautiful this place is especially the views. Next stop was at the Italian old Catholic church which is located on Mai Mahiu- Naivasha road also for a brief photo shoot and to at least get to know the history of the Old church. It is a small church that was built by italian prisoners in 1942 who wanted a place to worship since the British were Anglicans and them being Catholics they felt the need to have somewhere to worship. The walls on the inside have writings in latin also this church carries approximately 8 people, four on both sides. (If you are planning to hold a small wedding, HINT! HINT)

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Stop Over at Italian Old church
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Rift Valley View point

Finally we made it to Kijabe where our hike was to start. After brief Introductions we did our warm up which is meant to stretch your body before the hike. We then proceeded for tree planting at the foot of the forest then our hike started. The sun wasn’t hot, the weather was perfect. I believe this is the point I say, the only thing you are allowed to take during a hike is water and glucose which is better off mixed with water. People do walk in a straight line meaning their is always a pacesetter and the sweeper-the very last person. Lucky for us on this day the sweeper was a lady and she was really nice.

The first stretch was awesome no hills just the normal terrain and I remember asking myself why I had never done this before yet it was so easy. The challenge began when now we took a turn into the real forest. It muddy and slippery but still I told myself this was easy and definitely I could make it. We continued to walk and at some point you had to walk on fours hehehe you had to use your hands to support yourself. The more we walked the more the terrain continued to change but then we had decided to take this challenge so we had to keep walking. Later on at around one we got to a stop over where we had our snacks as some of us nursed our aching bodies. I later learnt that our hike was just about to begin and when I was shown where we were going, I felt my knees become weak. We walked into the forest and at this point I was not talking I had my walking stick with me. At some point Yvonne turned to check if I was behind her because I was extra ordinarily quiet. I regretted having taken up this challenge, my feet were sore, my joints ached and all I wanted was to sit down. For those who go to Mt. Longonot and always avoid going round, just know this is not for you. Hakuna kurudi nyuma you only have one option, to keep going.

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Me faking a smile when we stopped to have our snacks.

At around some minutes to 6 we ended our hike at soko mjinga market. My people I was proud of myself I just sat down and cheered myself from the inside. I did not know I could make to the end without being carried. I felt like dancing all the way to Nairobi but who am I kidding my body was telling me not today. We did another stretch and this is meant to relax your muscles so that you do not limp away the following day. We drove off from soko mjinga market to go have our lunch, some of us really proud of ourselves and even wanting to do the next hike.

On this day I learnt that strangers are not really strange, they are people we have not met yet and they turn out to be that family you are building a relationship with and who knows these relationships might last. Also that first times are scary, emotionally confusing and awesome at the same time. On this day I felt love from a totally new angle and all I wanted was to live there a little longer. Though I turned down the next hiking offer this was an amazing experience and I am definitely doing this again.

Hiking is that place you feel your sore feet but your soul feels full of life and you just fall in love all over again with nature. I left Kijabe a different person maybe I can’t put it in words but then going up those hills and continuous walks into the forest changed my view on life and many other things.

Some first times are amazing I tell you. Enjoy few pics from the forest.

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Mini waterfalls in the wild.
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Walking deep into Kijabe forest.
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Views from the top of Kijabe forest.

Till next time go do that one thing that you have been scared of.

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