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Quick guide on how to spend a one day holiday in Elementaita and Naivasha.

Who said you have to wait for your annual leave to go for a holiday?

Once in a while, it is good to get away. In case you have been wondering how you can spend your one day leave from work or an off day then wonder no more.

Location: Elementaita

Distance from Nairobi: 2 hour drive

Destination: Oasis Eco Camp

Requirements: Warm clothing and food(self catering)

Type of Accommodation: Tented camps and family houses

Bonfire: Yes

Oasis Eco camp lies at the shores of Lake Elementaita. It is your perfect place for weekend getaways, family and friends reunions, relaxation and bird watching.

Follow these simple steps then thank me later.

Check in.

A
Checking in, this is how the tents look like from inside.

Fix dinner.

The cooking banda is located a few meters from the tents.

Dinner
Dinner.

Light a bonfire to warm yourself as you prepare to sleep …This could be the perfect time to grab your drink, play some games as you bond with friends.

C
Bonfire.

Wake up in the morning to a clear calm lake, the sound of chirping birds and chattering monkeys.

calm lake
Calm lake
F
Early birds…
E
More birds
G
Wading ducks…

Enjoy sunrise and connect with nature as you wait for breakfast.

D
Easy Morning…

Have breakfast in the bush

Nothing beats this breakfast.
Nothing beats this breakfast.

Go for a walk and make new friends.

New Friends
New Friends.

Go to and explore Naivasha town.

Explore Naivasha town
Explore Naivasha town.

 

Take photos inside a shopping mall :-)
Take photos inside a shopping mall 🙂

Go to Lake Naivasha.

Lake Naivasha
Lake Naivasha

Have lunch by the lake

L

Drive back to the camp and check out!

Check out
Check out.

Let me know how this works out for you!

With Love…

Bonita.

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Hotel Review: Sleeping Warrior Lodge.

Sleeping warrior lodge is  a beautiful, discrete, lodge in Elementaita of Nakuru County inside Soysambu Conservancy  and is owned by the Delamere Family.

It will take you approximately an hour or slightly less to get to the lodge off the Nakuru Nairobi highway from a place called Kikopey, which is roughly 30km to Nakuru town.

The route to the lodge is a long, dusty meandering road. If you are not keen, chances of getting lost along the way are very high thanks to the not so good signage to the lodge. Also, a 4 x 4 wheel drive will be the most ideal to access the place. However, when you get to the lodge you quickly forget the bumpy ride uphill, thanks to the breathtaking view of the floor of the great rift valley.

terrain
Part of the rough terrain as seen from the lodge

My Verdict.

1.The Staff

Friendly. My favorite being the swimming pool attendant. You can tell he wasn’t trying so hard to impress clients. He is a natural. The owner of the establishment is very hands on too, interacting with the clients here and there, welcoming them and finding out if they are enjoying their stay.

Verdict: 7/10

2.Food

The fact that we were not asked what we would like to eat was a deal breaker for me. However the explanation given was that we checked in late (4:00 pm) so we had to eat what the chef had prepared.

The three course meal was OK, nothing extra ordinary to write home apart from the soup that I thoroughly enjoyed, then waiters who were very attentive and within reach during meal time.

The dining area was clean, candle lit, and the tables were set appropriately. The fire place on a cold night made it more cozy,warm and homely.

Dining area.
Dining area.

Verdict: 5/10 for food.

7/10 for the attentive waiters.

3.Cottages

The cottages were definitely up to my expectations. Spacious, clean, warm, well thought of interior decor, matching color scheme, comfy rags and throws, wide windows, strategic  location to enjoy a panoramic view of the Great Rift Valley, Lake Elementaita from far, the sleeping warrior dormant volcano,and a magical sunset.

The cottage
One of the cottages.

 

Inside the cottage.
Inside the cottage.

 

Sleeping warrior
Sleeping Warrior as viewed from the cottage.
Sunset
Sunset… from the cottages patio.

 

view outside the cottage
The beautiful raised patio.

 

Other cottages
Other cottages

The only thing that I felt was a let down was the bathtub and lack of appropriate toiletries.. A modern ceramic tub with lavender(my favorite) scented shower gels,shampoos and soap would have given the cottage story a happy ending.

Verdict: 7.5/10

Last but not least…

4.The infinity Swimming pool.

If you ask me the one reason that would make me want to go back to sleeping warrior…then that will be the swimming pool. It might not be as big as it appears in the photos, nor warm (at the time I was swimming, however, I am told they usually heat it up on request)  but the feeling you get of swimming on top of the world can not be compared to anything else at all. Every other thing stands right beneath you!

I can’t possibly put a number to that amazing feeling you get when up there. It is priceless.

Verdict: 8/10 purely because of the location ,shape of the pool and the priceless feeling derived from the swimming experience.

swimming pool
See what I am saying?

 

The Swimming pool
The Swimming pool.

Recommendations:

The food could be better followed by an option to choose what you would like to eat, a warmer pool would be best,proper sign posts for directions  to the lodge would make the ride to the lodge even better for first timers.

Overall verdict: 7.5/10.

Do I recommend Sleeping warrior? Oh yes.

Rates:  A total of Ksh 10,000 per person sharing (USD 100) full board.

I encourage you to: Call and know the prevailing rates because the receptionist told me it goes to Ksh 15,000 per person sharing a night on full board sometimes.

Other Attractions…

You can visit Lake Elementaita which is visible from the lodge, go for a game drive in the surrounding R0ysambu Conservancy or Lake Nakuru National park or visit Nakuru town.

On your way out of the lodge, you will see a variety of wild animals. I heard the guides say they saw a pack of eight lions that evening. So if wildlife is your thing… be sure to visit the place!

So,have you been to sleeping warrior before? Please share your experience in the comment section below with other readers to help them plan their safari better!

Till the next post…it’s a wrap!

Naughty Zebras

With Love…Bonita.

 

 

 

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10 reasons why you should be heading to Distant Relatives Ecolodge and Backpackers,Kilifi, on your next trip.

“Travel while you’re young and able. Don’t worry about the money, just make it work. Experience is far more valuable than money will ever be” These are the famous words of David Wolfe.

Distant Relatives is home away from home. I spent one of my holidays there and I can strongly recommend it to anyone looking for  a place to visit in Kilifi.

Here are my ten reasons why you should be on your way there already!

1. Accommodation

They have a wide array of accommodation to choose from depending on your budget. My favorite of course being the tent.It has a capacity of two. They will charge you slightly over a thousand shillings per person sharing for a night.

2. Environmentally Friendly.

The Cape Town Declaration of 2002 defines responsible tourism as making better places for people to live in and better places to visit.It pushes for tour operators and other stake holders to take action and make tourism more sustainable.Distant relatives has by all means walked and talked the gospel of the responsible tourism. So if you are keen on environmental conservation then you will have a field day there because almost everything is recycled. From the tumblers used at the bar, to the manure used at the farm.

It is also the only place in the world that you can find Viceroy old liqueur  growing on trees! lol

Viceroy growing on a tree...well you wish..
Viceroy growing on a tree…you wish..

Just on your way to the farm, is a common shower inside a tiny bamboo forest. You can occasionally see tiny frogs and other harmless reptiles as you enjoy your showers under the bamboo canopy. The water is then recycled for farm use!

3. Meet the world.

Visitors at the Eco Lodge come from all corners of the world as observed.Listen to music from different countries, have a good laugh and learn from the different cultures represented here. All you need is a rapport with people you are genuinely interested in learning from.

I tend to think if a good number of young people took time to travel and understand different cultures, perhaps half of the world problems caused by ignorance and in-exposure can been solved. As Mahatma Gandhi said…”Travel is the language of peace.”

friends and cultural exchange

4. Chill and enjoy your ‘you’ time.

If there is one thing I totally appreciated about distant relatives is the space and the interior decor. It is so natural, laid back and inviting. You can have a quick afternoon nap, read a book, lazy in a pod or just relax and enjoy the cool music in the background.

chill

chill lounge

5. Discover your talent or lack of.

It is one thing to know that you can not play the guitar, darts or even pool then, it is another thing to have it confirmed by trying and failing horribly…

At distant relatives, you are sure to spend your afternoon perfecting your skills in these and other games or just having a good time as you learn or compete with other travelers.

One of the ways of spending time while at the backpackers.

Try out foosball.
Try out Foosball.

6.Go on a fishing trip with local fishermen.

Red snapper caught during the fishing trip.
Red snapper caught during the fishing trip.

7.Swimming.

Isn’t that what everybody who visits the back packers does? Coast is generally hot, and naturally, the body will try to regulate it’s temperature back to normal. This leaves swimming as the most viable idea.

Swim, swim and swim.
Swimming!

8.Party inside the Musafir.

I am meant to understand there is a story behind Musafir the dhow… luckily during my stay at Distant Relatives,I was privileged to go to a party held in the Musafir deep inside the creek at night.. Ha ha ha talk of culture shock with all this foreign music and dancing styles! Were it not for Bob Nesta Marley’s Redemption song and get up,stand up, I would have completely floated. . but as I always say, we travel to learn and appreciate our differences.

Musafir!
Musafir!
Party!
Party!

9.Sunset!

Enjoy the best view of the magical sunset as sip you favorite drink!

Sunset
Sunset
Sunset
Sunset
Tusker!
Tusker!

10.Pizza Friday!

The delicious hand made pizza,that is well cooked in a wood-fired oven,boasts of its thin crust coupled with generous toppings making  Fridays at Distant Relatives a day worth looking forward to.

Pizza!
Pizza!
See the topping?
See the topping?

Other things to do…

Go to the beach.

Visit the beach any time of the day or night!

Beach!
Beach!

Last but not least…

Shop!

Shop at their boutique for unique African wear and a host of other stuff. If you want to buy your friends and family gifts, this is the perfect place to.

Gift shop!
Gift shop!

 

 

 

 

 

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I saw him, he saw me, we fell in Love and I am going back!

Have you ever fallen in love, so hard, so bad and so desperately?

I know you probably want to know if I have, and the answer is yes. I am in love. With a guy I met, just last weekend. He is rich, quiet and shy. Very little is known about my Mr.

He is surrounded by the big, popular and loud guys, but my man chooses to be quiet. I like it that way, I want him to maintain a low profile. Haha competition is real you know… and a girl must protect her own…

But wait a minute, I am already talking about him here, so I might as well just spill it…

This guy lives in Naivasha.

His name…(drum rolls)…. is ….(Faster drum rolls.)  Lake Oloiden. hahahaha! Gotcha!

Lake Oloiden is a small salt water lake in Naivasha just next to Lake Naivasha. My tour guide, a local, told me that a long time ago it was part of the larger L.Naivasha but a hill(s) grew in between and/or Lake Naivasha  ‘moved’ away… (I wish I could get a researched version of this theory. (If you have any valuable info about this lake, please share with us).

Lake Oloiden is along South lake Road, about 27Km from the start of the road. As you approach the lake, there is a small shopping center called Kongoni which is about 800m to the lake. The lake is on the right side of the road. ( see who tried to give directions there!)

If you love nature photography, water bodies, land forms, amazing landscapes, peace, quiet and tranquility then this is the place.

This lake is hidden and that is why very little is known about it. However, I can confidently say that never in my life have I ever had a mix of awe, thrill, fear and amusement in just under an hour.

  1. Awe.

As you drive in towards the lake, the road is a bit curved so you just don’t know what to expect. Then Alas! the curtains are drawn and you get to see the secret nature has been keeping from you. Bliss!

Lake Oloiden
Lake Oloiden.

2.Thrill.

The boat ride.It will cost you Ksh.2000 to rent a boat for about 30 minutes. The boat carries a maximum of 7 at a go. The thrill  about this ride is debunking of the myth that L.Oloiden is tiny.What you see with your eyes when standing on the shore is not what is actually experienced when you go for the boat ride! It is fairly big.

Nothing beats the feeling of seeing a tiny hill across the lake then only to move closer and discover it is actually huge.

Oloiden hills.
Oloiden hills.

3.Fear.

What would you do if you see a huge hippo a few meters from you, then at the blink of an eye it is not there. You quickly open your eyes and now it is just centimeters from you.You swallow hard and open your eyes wide while murmuring incomprehensibles…the next thing you know it has swam right beneath your tiny boat to the other side only to resurface with its mouth wide open!!! The questions that go through your mind suddenly are… where is the mother, father and siblings? How fast can I swim to the shore(Swim? to where?) Am I at peace with my maker? Jeez! It is scary. I wont talk about the confessions I heard from my pal Myra… (hilarious)

Scary hippo
Scary hippo

4. Amusement

birds3
Grooming time.

Peeping giraffes, ducking dik diks, grazing zebras, grooming birds, cheerful fishermen, croaking frogs,old cabin houses, rolling hills, green campsites and so much more… I could go on and on and on and on but no. I will stop at that.

Peeping Giraffe.
Peeping Giraffe.
Pelicans...
Love birds?

See why I fell in love and why I will go back again when the sun shines?

Lets meet at Oloiden.

 

 

 

 

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10 reasons why you should visit Kilifi County soon

What if I tell you that you can go to the coast for three days and spend about Ksh 10,000 on transport, food, accommodation and still have some loose change to keep while at the same time having a lifetime experience?

Yes…then move closer and allow me to fill you in on this hole and corner deal. As we always say here at Bonita on Safari, it’s about traveling as  often as you can on a budget and enjoying yourself to the fullest.

  1. Transport to and fro is very affordable and comfortable.
Book a comfortable bus to Kilifi.
Comfortable bus to Kilifi, do not mind my chipped nail polish  🙂

A comfortable ride to Mombasa will cost you approximately Ksh. 3,200 for a round trip. There are many bus companies that ply the Nairobi-Coast region, but I have to admit I’ve had an exceptional experience with Dreamline buses. I recommend you book a return ticket to avoid disappointments on your way back.

 

2. Cheap and healthy dishes.

A proper meal in Kilifi County will cost you on average between Ksh 200-250 in the many eateries that serve delicious hygienic meals. Breakfast will not cost you more than Ksh 50 this will constitute of Chai ya tangawizi, yummy mahamri and some coconut mbaazi on the side, for instance.

3. Readily available and extremely affordable transport in form of Tuk Tuks.

If there is one thing I miss about the coast in general is tuk tuk rides! It has a capacity of three passengers  and charges Ksh. 100 within the town center and Ksh 150 outside the town center.  For convenience, if you move around a lot, outside the town center you can have one tuk tuk driver’s number for easy pick and drop services.

Tuk tuk ride...

4. Affordable Accommodation

Kilifi County boasts of so many tourists hotels. While on a budget, I strongly recommend Distant Relative Eco-lodge and backpackers. Accommodation here starts from Ksh 1,250 a night. They have very nice dorms,tents, and bandas. You can also come with your own tent and pay only Ksh. 500 a night!

I can see y'all backpackers, campers and budget travelers smiling :-)
I can see y’all backpackers, campers and budget travelers smiling 🙂

5. You can check out Kilifi Creek

When you come from Nairobi, the closest you come to a water body is Nairobi river, then why not visit Kilifi and enjoy this peaceful, beautiful scenic view of Kilifi Creek.

Kilifi Creek
Kilifi Creek

6. Enjoy an evening Sail 

An evening sail on a boat will take about two to three hours into the sea. You can carry your book, camera or drinks and sail your worries away as you enjoy the scene and appreciate the marvels of nature.

Evening Sail at the Tudor Creek
Evening boat ride at the Kilifi Creek

7. Visit Watamu 

Watamu Marine National Park is about an hour and a half drive from Kilifi. This is where you get to swim with the dolphins and  beautiful colorful fishes,snorkel, wind surf, sunbathe, water ski or just enjoy the cool ocean breeze. If you do not like swimming, a nice glass bottomed boat ride will definitely awe you.

 

snorkeling!
Snorkeling!

8. Enjoy the street food culture

The streets of Kilifi are dotted with street food vendors. One thing I particularly liked about them is the level of hygiene even as they prepare their delicacies by the road side in the open air. When you visit Kilifi, make sure you try out deep fried cassava and ‘viazi karai’ served with tamarind sauce otherwise known as ‘ukwaju’.

Street food
Roadside delicacies

9. Learn about the Agiriama people and culture.

Nothing gives so much pleasure as traveling to a new place and learning a thing or two about the inhabitants of the area.I was in luck to visit a neighboring village. Had my new friend Mozda plait my hair at only Ksh. 80.00. She told me about their cultural practices and beliefs, and even invited me to spend a weekend with them…he he he I guess that means no paying for accommodation the next time I go to Kilifi…:-)

Had my hair plaited and taught how to wrap a lesso
Had my hair plaited and taught how to wrap a lesso.

10. The breath taking Kilifi sunset

Last but not least…This by far is the most beautiful sunset I have ever seen. The calmness, cool breeze, golden sky,orange sun, gliding birds, and sounds of laughter from friends just sums up a perfect evening in Kilifi.

Golden Sunset
Golden Sunset

There you have it…

Hope to see you visit Kilifi soon.

 

 

 

 

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Stanley’s Haven, Murang’a County,Kenya.

Stanley’s Haven; a holiday resort tucked neatly on the leafy suburbs of Murang’a County in an area called Mukuyu, is about one-and-a-half-hour drive from Nairobi, the Capital City of Kenya.

As you enter Stanley’s Haven, it is difficult not to notice the picture perfect lavish green gardens, perfectly manicured lawns, brightly coloured flowers, delightful fragrances emanating from exotic trees and bushes and the serenading minstrels of the male weaver birds as they try to attract mates who are busy repairing their nests that hang delicately from the tree branches.

Beautiful gardens at Stanley's Haven.
Beautiful gardens at Stanley’s Haven.

 

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One of the houses surrounded by beautiful gardens and sweet scented flowers

 

garden
Trees with hangings bird’s nests, colored petals and lush green gardens

In the early in the morning, dew on the trees form tiny drops of water as the golden sun rays seductively caresses the leafy branches of the trees which then majestically roll on the blades of the leaves and dance gracefully at the tip of the leaf before dropping on the ground below. What a sight to behold.

The general service at Stanley’s Haven is impeccable, right from the gate man who warmly welcomes you upon arrival, to the main reception then the restaurant all the way to the room service.

customer service
Impeccable customer service

As the old adage goes, ‘there is no love that is sincere as the love for food’ the restaurant at Stanley’s Haven is big on delicious African dishes together an assortment of any kind of meals you might like. The meals are prepared on order. Peter the chef is a maestro.

food

Yummy food prepared by the chef

The restaurant area is adequately spaced, elegantly furnished and dotted with eclectic wall paintings that imbue emotions of travel and adventure. On the background, the sweet ballad of soft jazzy music endlessly serenades you giving you a sense of abundant relief.

Directly opposite the restaurant is the swimming pool. Nothing beats a cool dip in the evening after a long tiresome day of driving and sightseeing. At night, the pool is lit from under the water with special LED lights that create a glittering impression as the water is swayed side by side by the gentle breeze caused by the wind. The supply of big clean and fluffy towels is equally delightful.

vlcsnap-2016-03-10-23h38m28s236
The very clean swimming pool

If you have kids, the more you should have a weekend getaway at the Stanley’s Haven, a well thought out play site fully fitted with all kinds of playing equipment is present in the premises dubbed the kids’ corner.

Kids corner
Children’s corner

Make sure to check it out during your visit. The management quipped to me that they are putting up a hammock and an adult swing very soon. SHHHH! It’s a secret!

They also have a modern conference room that is spacious and fully equipped with stationary, sound system, projectors, proper lighting and white board. A definite perfect choice for strategy, committee or family meetings.

 

conference
Conference room

Finally, to the icing on the Cake-Accommodation! One immediately gets spoilt for choice. It is difficult to decide under which roof you’d want to sleep. The rooms are spotlessly clean, brilliant comfy beds, peacefully quiet, well packaged products like shower gels, shampoo and body lotion in the bathrooms, large plasma TV, free Wi-Fi and cable TV and an ever ready staff on standby to help with room service. I could go on and on but let’s sum it all up and say it’s an experience you want to have for yourself.

Accomodation
Wide array of accommodation to choose from...

 

vlcsnap-2016-03-10-23h40m39s131
Clean,modern amenities in the rooms…

There is a four bed roomed bungalow on self catering basis, but you can request for a chef, self contained spacious cottages, single and double rooms. With all this, there is always enough room for you and many more of your friends and family.

Stanley’s Haven comes in highly recommended to anyone who wants to experience luxury and relaxation at the country side for about just an hour self drive from the hustle and bustle of city life. Go give it a try and thank me later!

 

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Stanley’s Haven Murang’a Kenya

Last weekend was my first time to visit Murang’a County in Kenya. The place is very green, hilly and fertile.

But there is a hidden gem in Murang’a at a place called Mukuyu. It’s called Stanley’s Haven. I recommend the place to you when you visit the Country or the County.

Enoy the short clip.

 

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Arusha Road Trip, Expeditions Maasai Safaris Style.

Last Saturday was a big day. A big day because the Urban Village girl was going for a trip outside the country. Huge,isn’t it?

It all started during the week,Wednesday to be exact.I went online to look for my next travel destination. As I browsed Facebook and Instagram, Continue reading “Arusha Road Trip, Expeditions Maasai Safaris Style.”

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Leleshwa Getaway…

Leleshwa getaway is nice weekend chill out place in the outskirts of Nairobi. It can be accessed from Ongata Rongai or the opposite route of Kitengela. However, the first route is shorter.

I was excited about this getaway spot and so I decided to contact the proprietor Richard to find out its availability.

Click here  to book a visit

Continue reading “Leleshwa Getaway…”

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