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The #TurkanaOdyssey: 8 days of Xtrym fun, travel and Adventure!


Since the medieval days of the Greek empire, men have been going on voyages and unpredictable journeys. One such trip was that made by the warrior Odysseus in 10-epic years, trying to make his way home from Troy. In his tales of triumph and obstacle during the Trojan war, the warrior overcame the challenges of war, and the 10-year long journey to eventually get home. His epic journey begot the beginnings of the word ‘odyssey’, and true to its form, Xtrym Adventures has quite a plan up their sleeves for your holidays.

Why Turkana? why go Xtrym?

Just like the Greek predecessor, the #TurkanaOdyssey is bound to be a tale fit for legendary folklore. Xtrym Adventures has a reputation to go beyond the conceivable ordinary to create out-of-this-world experiences. Duncan, the congruent brains behind this outfit is arguably one of the most experienced adventurer south of the Sahara in the modern-day. His exploits include summiting  the highest peaks in Africa, having set foot on Mount Kilimanjaro more than nine times. This only translates to unmatched experienced in hiking, and the best part is, he has a sixth sense in identifying strain during the trip. This ensures all travelers of their utmost safety in the entire period. I remember summiting Mt. Kenya with Xtrym, I must attest that it hardly anything close to easy! But Xtrym made it doable.

Turkana: Rich in culture and captivating landscapes.

Categorized among the little explored Northern tourism circuit of Kenya, the Lake Turkana region is virgin territory for your #Wanderlust. The rhapsodic satisfaction yielding from the sights and sounds of this

Rendille Warrior from Turkana Region

region is unmatched and innumerable! The lake is home to three National Parks that serve as a pit stop for the migrant waterfowl. These also form major breeding grounds for the Nile crocodile, hippopotamus and a variety of venomous snakes. Turkana isn’t shy to boast of its rich cultural heritage, stemming from the prehistoric years. The Koobi Fora region bears rich fossil deposits of Fossil remains and is home to ‘The Turkana Boy’s’ final resting place. Being the largest desert lake in the World, Lake Turkana is home to a number of breathtaking Islands and beaches, some of which will leave you feeling like you’re lost in an exotic location only seen in movies the beaches and springs are to die for.

Turkana is also home to a good number of nomadic pastoralist communities that are rich in culture and heritage including the Rendille, Samburu and Turkana peoples.

8-Days of Xtrym sights and landscapes

We all have this indigenous instinct to travel, wander, to disappear… however, on most occasions, we hardly ever get the time to do it. The timing of the #TurkanaOdyssey cannot be more opportune than this. Placed right after the Christmas festivities, this is bound to be the front-runner for the ‘road-trip of the year’ award. After spending your Christmas dining with family and friends, there’s nothing better than a good 8-day getaway in the outdoors.

The odyssey is not a point-A to point-B affair, Xtrym adventures has an intricate plan with scenic stops at various points including Kitale, Lodwar, Kalokol, Eliye springs, Eldoret and Baringo. This is more than a bargain, more than fun… I can’t help but want to fast-forward to the day for departure.

Going Xtrym: Teamwork means fun

Unlike your regular hotel holiday experience, the #TurkanaOdyssey is an outdoors camping experience. The best part about camping is putting heads and hands together to try and accomplish various tasks. My weak point is usually cooking ugali for a large group over the fireplace… so y’all better count me out! The trip is going to be broken down into various tasks and challenges which will be equitably allocated on a rota. As you get yourself ready for this epic trip, here’s a few things to bring with you:

  1. Large “Backpack or Duffel bag” (avoid suitcases)
  2. Swimming costume
  3. Head lamp
  4. Sleeping Bag or sheet set
  5. Personal effects (wash kit, sun-screen, slippers, soap, tissue paper, tooth brush + paste)
  6. Small day pack (bag) for excursions
  7. Hike & walking gear
  8. Camera (extra memory cards) spare batteries
  9. Clothing (for warm and cold zones)
  10. A hat and shades to shield from the sun
  11. Mosquito repellant
  12. Cash for personal use
  13. Anti-Malaria tablets (take before trip as well)
  14. Board games & Card games
  15. Power Bank and USB cables (phone charging etc)

For more details on the trip, Check out Xtrym Adventures’ facebook page.

Or call : Duncan on 0717261033 Or see the poster below…

#TwendeTurkana!

*images courtesy of the internet.

PS: Only six (6) slots remaining!

 

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17 Reasons why you should go Diani Reef Resort and Spa this Christmas.(Photo Essay)

Diani Beach Resort and Spa is located in  South Coast Kenya on the award-winning Diani Beach. I stayed there for three days and been itching to tell y’all about it. Here are more than enough reasons that should get you packing your bags already.

1.It is extremely easy to get there!

The trip is only one hour from JKIA to Ukunda Airstrip in Kwale County, south coast Kenya. From Ukunda Airstrip, the Resort will organize your hotel transfers. The drive from the airstrip to Diani Reef Resort and Spa is slightly over ten minutes. It doesn’t get Easier than that, does it?

JKIA

 

Ukunda Airstrip with Rayhab.

2.It is on Diani Beach: One of the top twenty five beaches in Africa.

Diani Beach is ranked 7th best in Africa. Diani Reef Resort and Spa stretches three hundred and eighty meters along this prestigious beach. What other best way would you like to experience Diani Beach apart from staying at this resort?

3. They have the warmest reception and a quick check-in procedure.

Right from the airport pick up, to the main reception of the hotel, the general feel is that of warmth and a feeling that the hotel values your presence. As a kind gesture, a bubbly welcome awaits you as you walk in to the tunes of ‘Jambo, Jambo Bwana, Habari gani…(You know the Hakuna Matata Song..) and sound of the African drums… You will shake a leg…and smile all the way through the check in process.

The warm welcome followed by a welcome chilled madafu (Coconut water), makes it difficult to take count of what just happened between alighting from the vehicle,your five minutes of fame and sipping your ‘madafu’.

The check-in process is fast and efficient and before you realize, you are torn between asking for another ‘madafu’ or checking into your room first.

4.Rooms with a breathtaking view.

From the balcony of the room, you get to enjoy a calming view of the sea, palm trees, the resort’s lagoon and swimming pool…You know you are at the coast when you finally see the beach and ocean…

5.Their rooms are always thoroughly clean and fresh

The rooms are exactly how a perfectionist would want. Neat as a button, everything aligned, cups and bottles of water properly arranged on the tray, with the label facing the same direction, all towels in place, and a nice welcome note properly placed on the table, when you look into the mirror you realize yours at home is a bit cloudy. Then nothing beats the scent of a flowery air freshener when it mixes with the salty-ish sea breeze…bliss. (These are photos of the presidential suite)

6.Their different restaurants that serve different dishes based on your preference.

You are guaranteed to get spoilt for choice I promise you. Ranging from coral rock café which is the main dining outlet.They serve buffet, live cooking and everything in between. I still can not get over the good morning messages on my plate whenever I went for breakfast.

To The Sake Oriental Restaurant.

This was the first restaurant I have been to and truly enjoyed a proper Japanese meal. You can read about my experience here. The specialty in this restaurant is Asian cuisine.

Right next to the beach is the Fins and grills restaurant. Do not look any further if you love sea food and grilled dishes. I kept going for more…you can also have a taste of Mediterranean cuisine at this restaurant.

7.Experience/eat Japanese Teppanyaki

I have never gotten over the theatrical Japanese Teppanyaki dinner I had at Sake restaurant. Click here to read about my detailed encounter of the entire experience. I am sure whoever came up with the phrase that cooking is an art had just experienced the making of a five course Japanese Teppanyaki meal.

8.Maya Spa that has experienced masseuse that will massage your stresses away.

A little pampering in the clean, spacious, fully equipped Maya Spa on a lazy afternoon might just be the best decision you’ll make during you stay at Diani Reef Beach Resort and Spa. My recommendation is a hot stone massage. I know you’ll thank me later.

9.They have a man-made lagoon, fish ponds, fountains, trees,beautiful flowers and manicured lawns all over the property.

There is everything calming, therapeutic and charming about taking a lazy stroll around the property and taking time to appreciate the good work they have put in landscaping the entire place. Everything I looked at was photogenic. A retreat at this resort is a wholesome experience; mind body and spirit.

10.Believe or not they also have a movie theater! 

If I tell you that you can catch the latest movies while on vacation would you believe me? Well, you better believe me. :-). There is a mini theater at the resort that adds to the already full list of things to do.

11.Your kids will be perfectly taken care of at Coco Jumbo Kids club.

Here, your kids will be properly taken care of as you take the desired break. There is an animation team that ensures full entertainment for your little ones.

There is an adult section of the club especially if you enjoy snooker.

12.Connect with nature at their sea facing restaurant.

This an extension into the beach and ensures to have your cold drinks and your meals that ensures you feel the beach vibe without really setting foot on the beach.

 

13.Enjoy a 4 course dinner set up in Maharaja style at a makeshift gazebo.

This is one of the different types of theme nights you can enjoy while staying at the restaurant. Nothing beats a four course emperor meal under the coastal sky. This came as a surprise even for me the moment was right, the mood was perfect and the appetite was high.

 

14.Shed some of the holiday weight at their fully equipped gym. 

For those who worry so much about adding a little holiday weight, fret not…This is well covered!

15. They have two swimming pools including  one that has a pool bar.

Cool that body and sip you favorite drink as you enjoy your holiday from either of the pools.

16. You will enjoy entertainment at the fins and grills restaurant that is opposite the beach right during/after dinner.

Their animation team has the most energetic dances ever! How they do it effortlessly with smiles on their faces still puzzles me!

17.Last but not least, you will enjoy taking a trip around the resort and appreciate the art.

Hope you enjoy you trip down south!

For further info contact Diani Reef Resort and Spa on: +254 0709481000 or write them an email on rsv@dianireef.com.

Check them out on Facebook as well!

 

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The K’Osewe Delight: Homely meals in the heart of the city!

There is quite a bit happening all around us that is spilling all over my mind up to this very minute… trying to make sense of it all seems to be a tough task. Your typical Nairobi day never lacks intrigues, theatrics and challenges, and it could take a couple of days trying to make sense of everything.

With all these happening,why immerse yourself in a never ending thought juggling exercise yet you can sink your fingers into a juicy broth of African delicacies, forgetting all your day’s troubles? I could talk about the annoying Nairobi traffic; but at this moment, I’m pretty sure talking about some steaming brown Ugali; kuon bel as the luopeans call it, and fried fish; rech is much more interesting and delicious!

In the thick of a buzzing city: Getting to K’Osewe

Nairobi’s mid-mornings are usually a beehive of activity, walking through the busy streets with the hardworking citizens marching to their places of work can be quite choreographed. The rhythm of the steps and speed along the streets is somewhat synchronized and you’d quite easily be singled out as an ‘outsider’ if you can’t keep up! Hidden in one of the most enterprising streets, K’Osewe muffs you from the heat and noise of a buzzing city to give you the tranquility of home away from home.

Getting to K’Osewe’s is as easy as knowing where Nairobi’s iconic Nation Center building is. Two blocks up from Nation Center, just past the Cooperative Bank Kimathi, you’ll find K’Osewe’s Kimathi outlet. You can’t miss it because a huge sign sticks out, hanging from the roof of the street’s walkway. If your eyes fail you, your nose wouldn’t, as the tantalizing aroma of authentic Kenyan dishes start their onslaught on your senses.

An Island of peace: Checking off your Nairobi food bucket-list.

If you thought K’Osewe is only ‘your regular walk-in bar and restaurant’, you are wrong. K’Osewe is that and more. It is your getaway, your hiding place even in times of turmoil you get comfort in their food. Best of all, at Kosewe, you get to eat and drink yourself to happiness to the enchanting tunes of  the African rhumba and benga music.

Kosewe’s food ranks very high on every traveler’s bucket list. I have dozens of foreigner friends who must tick off having an African meal at Kosewe off their bucketlist when they visit Kenya.

 

Breezy, transitional decor and  musical goodness at Kosewe.

The restaurant sits on the entire first floor of the building, and also provides access to a sunlit gazebo. As you walk in, with whispers of benga music politely oozing from speakers in the near background. The ambiance of the restaurant almost feels like a tiny oasis in the middle of a big concrete desert that is this city.It’s an experience that can not be limited to just a few words on a blog post! You’ve got to see it to understand..

On this Thursday lunch hour,I quickly secure a table under a parasol that is at one end of the gazebo. On my far right I spot a mzungu who is devouring his plate of fish with the respect and meticulousness a fish from the Lake Victoria deserves. There’s this joke boasted to a large extent by the Luo community of Kenya; where you gobble up a bony chunk of fish into your mouth, and only spit out the spines and bones from your lips! Highly tricky maneuver, a preserve of the experienced, but clearly, this mzungu knew his fish eating skills from the experts!

In less than a moment, a charming waiter attends to me and takes my order, promising the very best rech and kuon bel. The restaurant can easily host about 300 people and still have room for everyone to do the YMCA dance!

It is only authentic Kenyan if you boycott the fork and knives… Dig in!

Within minutes my fried tilapia is served piping hot garnished with Kachumbari;tasty slices of tomatoes and onion rings sprayed with coriander. My fish is accompanied by a side-dish of greens and steaming hot Ugali.

Before the waiter is done setting up my small ‘feast’, my glands can’t hold themselves together; the sight of everything got me salivating with expectations.If you truly want to enjoy any African dish, dig in with your bare hands! I truly was delighted at my very first bite! But did I start too soon? Before downing my first mouthful the waiter is back with Mor alenya (ghee) that I am supposed to ‘anoint’ my veggies with. Mor alenya loosely translates to ‘Shining happiness’ in the Luo dialect; and shine it did… to my senses and taste buds.

Should you find yourself at Kosewe, ensure to ask for ‘Mor Alenya’… that simple addition made my first instance of delight seem like nothing compared to the ‘shining happiness’ that followed.

Fresh off the boat to your plate.

K’Osewe prides itself in serving freshly produced, authentically Kenyan dishes that are whole and organic.I sat there wondering, if their fish is that good, how good can their grilled beef, fried liver or chicken be?Well,that’s for you to find out and let the rest of us know.

Fresh juices, packet juices and sodas are also available as accompaniments with your meal, but I just had to wash down my scrumptious meal with a cold freshly blended mango.

K’Osewe’s delicious fish stew and millet Ugali

It’s almost noon, patrons are trickling in, in the likeness of the ritual pilgrimage to Mecca and gradually, the almost empty halls fill up. From the smiles and warmth in their diverse faces, you could tell they know what they are in for.

The diverse menu,the chefs treat.

K’Osewe serves first class traditional Kenyan cuisine – whether you order coconut fish stew,

 

deep fried fish,

free range chicken, Athola (Roasted then cooked meat),

Aliyah – not the musician – (sun dried then cooked meat),

or Aluru (quail). You can also enjoy fresh fish stew,

 

Fried Liver,

Fried tripe,

After trying any one of these delicacies,you’ll always find yourself redoing the pilgrimage to try something new. Their prices are pocket friendly and each meal has the real value for every cent spent. If you are in town and haven’t tried them,trust me,you do not know what you are missing!

Occasionally Local bands play and diners simply relax and soak up the in the ever present good vibes all in a bid to enjoy a little musical pleasure. It is for sure a local hangout for many residents, K’Osewe is all about good home-style cuisine and a welcoming ambiance.

In a nutshell K’Osewe is a touch of simplicity, affordable, stripped-down, straightforward and damn delicious.

Dial a dinner.

You can’t make your way to the restaurant? Fret not K’Osewe’s got you covered. You can dial a delivery and your fish will be on your desk before you say Jack Robinson.

Fun fact: It is believed among Luos that their ‘superior’ intelligence derives from the consistency at which they eat fish, especially the head/Gills. If you were wondering why you got that ‘odd’ look after leaving the ‘gearbox’ (Head) intact; there’s your answer!

 

 

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Acacia Premier Kisumu; of class,ambience,relaxation and a panoramic view of the lakeside city.

In one of my trips to the western region of Kenya, I stopped briefly at Acacia Premier in Kisumu City. It had been a bumpy drive and the only thing on my mind was freshly squuezed orange juice and samosas.

When I stepped inside the hotel, my jaw almost dropped! The hunger suddenly disappeared as my eyes wandered around looking for the manager to ask for permission to take photos.

At the time of visit there was an international conference going on in one of the conference rooms and upon inquiry of the availability of rooms, the manager told me they were fully booked!

You know that feeling you get when the initial intention was a quick stop for a snack then on taking note of what a hotel offers you change your mind? Well, that was the story of my life then.

I bet anyone would be excited to book their stay at Acacia Premier after seeing these photos!

Reception area.
The staircase that leads to the rest of the hotel.
Another view of the reception.
Dustless floors.
The proportionality and careful arrangement of everything amused the OCD in me.
This bar can make for a perfect scene to shoot an expensive alcohol’s advert… You know, with models wearing red lipstick, six inch sandals laughing elegantly with men wearing parliament blue suits as they toast to good life…

The vintage wall hangings…
One of the dining areas.
Feels like a palace… no?
Sound proof spaces.
Simplicity and elegance. Is this blue or turquoise?

 

Who wouldn’t enjoy this kind of view?
Kisumu City…
Finally my samosa…These were the best samosas ever!
My orange juice tasted so good at the poolside restaurant.

I am yet to spend a night at Acacia Premier,but I promised as soon as I do, you will get it all fresh here. Better yet, why don’t you let me know of your experience when you get to visit?

For more info about Acacia Premier, Contact them here.

 

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Photos of Lake Bogoria Spa Resort:The ideal place to stay when you visit Lake Bogoria,Kenya

Located only five minutes away from Lake Bogoria  is Lake Bogoria Spa Resort.

I had a short stay in the Resort and took amazing shots to give you a glimpse of what your stay will be like when you visit. They have a wide array of accommodation options to choose from ranging from executive suites, cottages, junior suites,standard rooms and camping.

The key attractions to enjoy during your stay its proximity to Lake Bogoria, the unexploited rich cultural heritage of the nilotic people including the Njemps, Tugen, Turkana and the Pokot and finally a natural heated pool from the hot water geysers that is said to be therapeutic.

Accommodation at the resort starts from Ksh.17500 for a standard double room for residents and USD 311.00 for a standard double room for non-residents.

Here are some photos of the Resort to help you plan for your visit and stay in Baringo.

Part of the road towards the resort.
Front view of the Resort.

Dining area.

Back porch of a room.

Swimming pool.

 

Baringo can be super hot, but a selfie right before a dip doesn’t hurt anyone…
The campsite.
Can you spot the ostriches?
Entrance to the natural pool.
The therapeutic hot water spa.
Natural hot water stream. I was surprised to see fish swimming in the hot water…

 

A bridge across the river in the resort.

There you have it!

For more information about Lake Bogoria Spa Resort, contact them on +254727925397 or check out their website here.

 

 

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Top places to visit in Baringo county:Lake Bogoria

We have a new feature in our blog that will cover never seen photos of places I have have visited! These photos are meant to highlight key attractions in the different destinations and inspire you to visit while giving you an idea of the top attractions and things to do!

To start us off, spotlight will be on Lake Bogoria in Baringo  County.

Entrance to Lake Bogoria National Reserve.
More info about the reserve.

 

Well there you have it.

I hope these are enough photos to inspire you to visit Lake Bogoria.

 

 

 

 

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