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Naivasha is always a good idea…

A weekend getaway after a hectic work week to Naivasha has been one of the most popular plans amongst young travelers from Nairobi and  other towns in Kenya.

For a long time, I kept resisting the Naivasha bug, but the defiance did not last long. I have since visited Naivasha more than ten times in less than two years. Everytime I get there, I discover new stuff that I never knew existed.

In one of my visits, I had the pleasure of joining Orange Adventures for an organized trip. This was the first time I went to Naivasha with a tour company.All my other instances have been on solo trips or with a few friends and yours truly got to plan the logistics.

I was flattered by the idea of sitting pretty and having everything organized.

There were a few delays that morning as we waited for every one to get to the meeting point and when everyone else got there and we were ready to leave, there was a bit of drama with Kenya police as one of the organizers was charged for double parking you don’t want to hear the end of it. Despite the bumpy start, my spirits were not dampened.

As a solo traveler, trying out group travel with new people can be a bit of a challenge especially if the other guys know each other. Not to mention when everyone else is a couple!(Well I am exaggerating for effect) Can you imagine it was a Valentines getaway?I was totally unaware… Exit Bonita on Safari,enter Bonita the third wheeler… I wanted to turn back at this point but well, it was a bit too late.

We got to Naivasha slighlty after an hour and a half, made a quick stop at Buffalo mall then headed straight to Crater Lake Game Sanctuary, where we were to go for a two hour hike round the crater, have lunch while at it,then head back to Cray Fish Camp where we were to spend the night.

Surprisingly enough, the group wasn’t as cold as I thought it would be.

I had underestimated the hike but it got me breaking a bit of sweat.

Crater lake is a green volcanic lake at the bottom of an old volcanic crater inside the game sanctuary. Occassionally, a flamboyance of flamingoes can be seen on the shallow ends of the lake, stubborn monkeys, warthogs , zebras and graceful giraffes on the other bushy sides.

The two hour hike was so picturesque, it felt like walking in a virtual world, floating in the clouds above and having an aerial view of the Lake.

 

We stopped to have lunch at one of the highest point of the crater where one is able to see Lake Naivasha and Lake Oloiden. Geographical history has it that all the three lakes was one big lake before a volcanic eruption that ended up splitting them.

 

The route back to the reception was through Crater Lake Lodge, a cosy,lake-facing, romantic getaway that immediately debunks a not so promising picture originally painted by a floating restaurant that looked like it could use a make over and an underwhelming small swimming pool at a corner.

When I checked out the tented camps… I was pleasantly surprised.

 

From Crater Lake lodge, we went straight to Crayfish Camp.

I had never camped at Crayfish until that day. It was all fun and games until it dawned to me that I was going to spend a long night inside a tent in the cold Naivasha night. I showered, overdressed and immediately after the early dinner, I decided to sleep early to keep my space warm.However that was a mission in futility. I woke up at 10:00pm to warm myself in the bonfire because the shivering! I felt my intestines shrink and my organs quivering.

One by one, everyone else went to sleep and I was left there seriously trying to keep myself warm. The sky was clear and the moon shone so bright. An occasional puffing of the hippos from Lake Naivasha that was a stone throw away to the rustling of dry leaves as the night guard did his routine security checks kept me awake. I repeat, I don’t like camping.

A few minutes to 5:00am, I left the fire place and went to sleep inside the van. The warmth in the car was the best thing that happened to me that weekend. Smokeless warmth.

I thought I’d wake up early that morning to catch sunrise but well, lets just say I was so fatigued.

Day 2.

The next morning was so bright and sunny. Everyone else was up, half of the guys had gone to swim, some of them were having breakfast, other were folding up their tents, and a general good vibe in the air could be felt. I walked down the lake hoping to see a few hippos but I captured more than I bargained for!

I guess Naivasha’s never ending to-do list ranks it highly compared to other touristy destinations in the country.

We wound up the trip on that Lazy Sunday afternoon…

NB: Please share with me your camping hacks! I want to be a cool kid too.

 

 

 

 

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Olkaria Geothermal Spa-Naivasha

Location: Floor of the Great Rift Valley inside Hells gate National Park.

Distance from Nairobi: About one and a half hours drive from Nairobi.(Approximately 120Km)

Accomodation: No

Restaurant: Yes

Public transport:No

Tour guide: Necessary for first timers.

Main attraction: The natural hot water spa.

Other attractions/Activities: Game viewing, camping,bird watching,sight seeing, cycling,hiking and rock climbing.

Charges: There are two charges:One is for accessing the National park as follows: Citizens;Ksh 350 for adults and Ksh250 children,Residents Ksh 700 adults and Ksh350 for children,USD 30 for adults and USD 20 for non residents.The other charge is for accessing the swimming pool area. Which is about Ksh 400.00*( please confirm with them on this).

Olkaria geothermal hot spa is a unique destination for a days trip to Hells Gate National Park or Naivasha.The facility is owned by Kenya Electricity Generating Company and is located inside the Hells gate National Park.

It is called a geothermal hot spa because of the hot water(hot steam that cools in the collecting pipes) that is collected from the various wells within the plant and emptied into the pool.The temperature of the main pool ranges between 30-40 degrees centigrade.

There is an apparent smell hydrogen sulphide gas(the smell from rotten eggs) in the pool area mainly assosiated with sulphide gas emitted during the drilling process that combines the hydrogen in the atmosphere . This however should not be  a deal breaker (hahaha because fresh air is in abundance too!)

The pool.

The hot water spa.
The pool
A closer look …

Other Pools…

Other pools, but of higher temperatures.(Not open for swimming)
Other pools, but of higher temperatures.This is where water collects and cools before it drains in the larger pool.(Not open for swimming).

 

The pool is big enough to accomodate people in their hundreds :-)
The pool is big enough to accomodate people in their hundreds 🙂

 

The restaurant.
The restaurant.

If swimming and water isn’t really your thing then no worries… you might as well take a nap and  enjoy the warm humid air from the hot steam that is vaguely in the atmosphere.

Chill and nap.
Chill and nap.

Recommendation:

The management should have a cleaner on standby or constantly ensure that the changing room and shower’s floor is dried after use to avoid minor accidents caused by slippery/wet floor.

Also, a few minor repairs like fixing the towel holders would be great.

Overall verdict: Nice place to unwind. A must-visit destination when you visit Naivasha town or Hell’s gate National Park.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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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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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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