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!
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.
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.
Back porch of a room.
There you have it!
For more information about Lake Bogoria Spa Resort, contact them on +254727925397 or check out their website here.
Domestic tourism in Kenya has been on the rise in the past five years. As an ardent local traveler,affordable domestic tour packages provided by local tour operators are the best things to happen in these wanderlust corridors.
Day tours or one to two nights out of town have gained popularity amongst Kenyans because of their affordability and the fact that they are mainly held over the weekend hence no interference with normal work week schedule.
Last Sunday, Xtrym Adventures one of the leading organizers of adventures, safari and hikes in Kenya hooked us up with yet another group that was going to Mt.Longonot.
The cost of hiking the mountain, park entry fees, half a litre of water and transport to and fro Nairobi was all valued at Ksh.2,199 (Approx USD 22)
Mt. Longonot is about 60Km from Nairobi,Kenya. It located inside Mt.Longonot National Park. A trip from Nairobi will be slightly less than an hour to the gate of the park. The scenery as you descend Maai-Mahiu road is breathtaking. This is where you get to see the floor of the Great Rift Valley and even appreciate the mighty Mt.Longonot as is rises majestically to a thick cloud above.
Once we approached the park’s gate, the mountain looked like kid’s play.Easy stuff. Our guide mentioned we will be back to the gate after approximately six hours. Honestly we did not understand why… I mean seriously this hillock shouldn’t be a hard nut to crack.
Time is an important factor to consider when you are planning this hike. The earlier you begin the hike the better.Because then, the sun won’t be so hot. I guess the toughest task would be hiking with a heavy bag in scorching sun.
When we got to the gate, we stretched (vital to avoid muscle pull), paid at the gate then proceeded.
There is a stretch that leads to the foot of the mountain. Zebras and Impalas can easy be spotted grazing.I did not see any monkeys though…I assumed they were still asleep.lol.
The initial stages of the ascend were effortless. But the events to unfold later made me want to take back my words. The trail slowly but surely became steeper and thinner and the peeping sun finally come out strong. The terrain was dusty but we soldiered on. I asked how long before we got to the peak and everyone burst out laughing. I needed no answer clearly. We were no where near the peak.
Well, I guess sometimes you only need someone to laugh at you to ignite the fire inside.
The steeper the terrain ,the tougher I became. I had to prove a point you know…(Wrong mentality…but it was fun…)
Eva, my pal, did exceptionally well too. It was hard to imagine we were sweepers at some point.
Truth be told,hiking is not for the faint hearted and has nothing to do with physical strength. It all about attitude and mental strength. It is also not about competing with the rest, but just finding your own way to get to the top. Sometimes you lead, other times you are led.
After about an hour or so, we were told that the peak was a few meters away. That statement gave us a little more energy to soldier on. There was apparently a small hut at the top of the hill. Once you begin to see it, then be sure you are almost there. The hut is the first place you can sit and replenish.
A few minutes later, not only did we get to the hut, but also to the first peak!
We were allowed a ten minute break to breath and grab something. Be advised to carry some lucozade, a banana, apples or grapes. You will thank me later.
The next phase was a trek around the rim of crater. The view was encouraging. This was the point where Naivasha,Lake Naivasha and its environs could be seen in perspective. The Rim of the crater is said to be 7.2km. However it felt like 14.4km ?.
Phase two started out well. We were energized and excited to go round the rim. The excitement was soon to come to an end when I was told there is yet the highest peak of the mountain that we were to cover. This only meant, twice the initial effort and thrice the attitude.
The slopes were steeper here, the loose volcanic gravel beneath the feet proved difficult to just walk. Then there was a thick layer of dust. In my opinion, that was the toughest part.
In about one and a half hours we reached the second peak. Well the highest. It is called Kilele Ngamia. It was completely worth the effort. The view was so refreshing that any pain and struggle experienced earlier is quickly forgotten.
Nothing happens here apart from photos. From Kilele Ngamia, the rest of the hike was easy. It was mainly descending.
In about an hour, we were back to the little hut. Which has notoriously been named the ‘watering hole.’
Nothing feels as good as ascending and going round the rim!
Going down using the same route was at that point easier… Did I mention were were leading the pack that whole time?
My name is Prexidis, I live in Lubao. Lubao is about six Kilometers from Kakamega town. My little town is famed for being the largest auction market for dogs and cats in Eastern and Central Africa. I don’t like talking much about myself but following an experience I recently had, allow me this once to tell you a story.
My Fiancé’s name is Wanjala. We went to school together at Muhonje Secondary School years back.He was two years ahead of me. He was a sharp guy and soon after finishing his O level education, he was admitted to Kaimosi Teachers Training College.I can’t wait for the day I will be called bibi ya mwalimu.
Last weekend Wanjala was in the village. What I like most about his visits is his love for travel and creativity in finding areas that we can spend time alone as we discuss intricate details of our future together. He is a wanderer. He also likes taking photos with ‘our’ mobile phone. Our Samsung Galaxy Pocket. This phone changed our status in the village. He promised to give me that phone in December when he buys himself a Tecno phone.
Our date was on Saturday. Venue, Kakamega Forest. I have never been to Kakamega Forest.But from what Wanjala told me, it is the only tropical rain forest in Kenya and is said to be Kenya’s last remnant of the ancient Guineo-Congolian rainforest that once spanned Africa.To add on it,it is home to about 380 species of trees,330 species of birds, about 27 species of snakes and 7 species of primates,more than 400 species of butterflies and several species of mammals.. Wanjala will make a brilliant teacher!
I woke up early that Saturday Morning. I was told that it was the best time to see lots of birds. The sun was unusually hot that morning and Matendechere my bodaboda guy took so long. We had agreed to meet up at exactly 8:00 am. Wanjala was not going to be amused.
I decided to just walk to the main road, hoping to catch another rider coming from the south. Arimis and red clay soil don’t go so well, normally I’d wait for Matendechere but on this occasion, it was impossible,I had to get there quick.
Lady luck shone on me and in an hour I was right at the gate of Kakamega Forest National Reserve. Wanjala wasn’t so impressed. But he was happy to see me.
He paid Ksh.600 park entry fee for both of us.
It was unbelievable that I hadn’t visited the forest despite being a local. We were assigned one guide whose expansive knowledge in plant and tree species amazed me. We never saw any birds though, just heard them chirping in the woods.I guess it was too late to bird watch.
Beautiful flora and fauna, cheeky black and white colobus monkeys, fresh air, breathtaking views and a general good feel in the air.
This was the first time Wanjala held my hands in ‘public.’ The feeling was magical.
Our first stop was the Udo’s Bandas. This is where their bandas and campsite were located. The accommodation had traditional huts and modern units.The bandas cost Ksh. 3000 per night while the traditional huts cost Ksh. 1000 per night.There was also another option of coming with your own tent and camp for Ksh. 500.
The next stop was Mukangu trails, along which were tens of labeled trees. We soon approached the oldest tree in the forest. I had never seen such a tall tree before. This was where our great great great grandparents use to pray to their ancestors and offer sacrifices.
From there we did a steep hike to the view point of Buyangu Hill! The hike was exhausting but the view at the top was worth every drop of sweat. Wanjala promised to buy me a piece of land at the end of the forest. The furthest end where the horizon met the hills. The future looked so bright. He promised to bring me to Kakamega forest, why would I doubt that he will buy me that piece of land…
We were told that this is also the best location to catch the most breathtaking Sunset!
The walk downhill wasn’t as tiresome as the way up. The narrow terrain opened up to the other part of the forest. It was picturesque.
There was a further ten kilometers to be covered to get to the small but lovely Isiukhu fall. I was getting thirsty and tired at this point. But the guide promised that a walk to Isiukhu will be the end of the trip. I couldn’t wait to see the water fall.Luckily,Wanjala had carried water in his backpack. It saved the day.
After about an hour or so, we could hear the sound of water gushing and falling hard on rocks beneath. I kept wondering how the sight was.
Well, I wasn’t disappointed when we got there.
Kakamega Forest has so much to offer.
Despite the exhaustion,this was one trip I wish I took earlier. I can’t thank Wanjala enough for making it happen. We spent quality time together, learnt new stuff and looking forward to spending more time together in this lovely County of ours. He even promised to take me to Lake Bogoria. I only read about it in GHC back in Primary school and sincerely I can’t wait.
If you have not been to Kakamega forest before, make a point to go. You will love It!
I went to Stanley’s Haven earlier in the year with my production team and it was all shooting and work.(See the post here).
I promised myself that I would go back there with my friends. They needed to see this little paradise. There was this particular family house with a capacity of eight and from the onset, I knew this was perfect for us and just like that …we had a weekend plan!
We spent one night at Stanley’s.
Unlimited access to the swimming pool for residents.
A DJ on request(The speakers provided was something else!)
Barbeque grill on request too.
Full Breakfast the next morning
Here are pictures of our stay.
Stanley’s was kind enough to let us extend our stay to about 4:30pm. This was possible because we took lunch served from their restaurant and there were no guests checking in that Sunday afternoon.
From us at Bonita on Safari we say asante for your hospitality and we will come back again.
Cost of Family house: Ksh 20,000.00 a night. This fee includes:bed and breakfast and unlimited access to the swimming pool. It can house eight people.
A cottage costs Ksh.5000.00 a night.
Double rooms costs Ksh.4000.00 a night.
Meals: You can choose between self catering or order your meals from the restaurant at an extra cost.
*Please note that the prices I have quoted were as per my the last visit.It is important to call the Hotel and find out whether there are changes before you travel.
Tag your friends along to Stanley’s Haven, you will thank me later.
Diani in south coast Kenya is one of my favorite coastal destinations in East Africa. The long strip of white sandy beaches, clear blue sky, chilled weather, turquoise waters with small patches of sea weed here and there, the sound of sea waves crushing against the shore, not forgetting the humidity that gives a sauna feel makes the haven irresistible.
In Diani, everything is stylish and elegant. Five star hotels, perfect infrastructure, stylish villas, international cuisines prepared by renowned chefs and world class water sports only to mention a few.
Standing majestically in the midst of all this magic is the chilled Swahili styled Golini Resort comprising of two cottages sitting on a two acre piece of land. The compound boasts of pedicured lawns, trimmed hedges, scented flowers, mature trees and a swimming pool. The resort is nothing short of beautiful.
Just as a home should be,warm clean and welcoming, the resort is all that and more. Graveled driveway, chlorophyllated grass, colourful flowers and an aura of comfort and calm.
The general plan has the master en suite, living room, well fitted kitchen, and a guest washroom on the ground floor.
A personal chef is available on request. This makes for a perfect opportunity to sample coastal dishes and to maximize on that vacation feel when away from home.
Located between the Master bedroom and the living room is a stylish spiral staircase that leads to the other rooms upstairs.
The rooms upstairs are nothing short of amazing, discreet and spacious. The snow white walls, huge bathroom and walk-in closet, large windows and a panoramic view of the compound make the rooms upstairs standout. This kind of set up is ideal for families with kids or a small group of friends touring South Coast.
The other bedroom that has a single bed.
Bathroom and Closet…
The other fabulous feature of this house that is impossible to ignore are the windows. Wide louvered windows run from wall to wall ensuring natural light and fresh air in the house effortlessly.
The front porch of the house opens up to a beautiful garden of flowers, trees and a pavement that leads to the swimming pool. Hanging delicately from the ceiling in the veranda is a unique hand crafted African lampshades that emphasizes the existing sense of panache.
The best part of Golini Resort is the fact that it located exactly two minutes from the sea front of Galu beach.What more could one be looking for in a coastal holiday destination?
Golini Resort is available for both long and short stays. The property is also on sale.(If interested drop me an email at email@example.com for more details ).
“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!
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
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.”
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.
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.
6.Go on a fishing trip with local fishermen.
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.
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.
Enjoy the best view of the magical sunset as sip you favorite drink!
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.
Other things to do…
Go to the beach.
Visit the beach any time of the day or night!
Last but not least…
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.
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.
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!
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.
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)
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.
See why I fell in love and why I will go back again when the sun shines?