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The tale of a date,Wanjala and Kakamega Forest.

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!

The map of Kakamega Forest.

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.

Dearest Wanjala;My heartbeat.
Entrance into Kakamega Forest.

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.

Staircase to natural beauty.

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.

Oldest tree in Kakamega Forest.

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!

Wide view from Buyangu hill.

Somewhere beyond the hills,lies my piece of land.

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.

Isiukhu fall.

Isiukhu fall.

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!

Till the next blog post…

Love and Itchy feet…

B on safari.

 

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Golini Resort-Diani

Golini Resort-Diani

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.

Checking In:

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 cottage.

compound2

The general plan has the master en suite, living room, well fitted kitchen, and a guest washroom  on the ground floor.

Master bedroom
Master bedroom.

 

 

kitchen 3
The Kitchen.

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.

 

sitting area
Living room.

Located between the Master bedroom and the living room is a stylish spiral staircase that leads to the other rooms upstairs.

Spiral staircase
Spiral staircase.

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.

Bedroom one with two single beds.
Bedroom one with two single beds.

The other bedroom that has a single bed.

Upper bedrooms
Bedroom two with one single bed.

Bathroom and Closet…

bathroom 2
Bathroom with an excellent view of the compound and pool.

 

Clean tiles...
Clean tiled floors…

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.

Large windows
Large windows..

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.

beauty
Front porch.

 

compound
Barbecue grill in the garden

 

butterfly
Colourful butterfly in the garden.

 

Peace and tranquility
Of shade and shadows.

 

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?

Diani
Galu Beach!

Golini Resort is available for both long and short stays. The property is also on sale.(If interested drop me an email at bonnita@aluochbonnita.com for more details ).

General info:

  • Golini Resort is approximately thirty kilometers from Mombasa island via Likoni Ferry.
  • It is adjacent to Ukunda town.
  • A small airstrip called Ukunda Airport connects travelers and tourist to Mombasa, JKIA-Nairobi and Wilson airport(Nairobi). The drive from the airport to Golini Resort is approximately twenty minutes.

Places to See:

Things to do:

  • Enjoy a fresh platter of seafood at Mvureni Fisherman restaurant right at the beach front of Galu Kinondo beach.
  • Go for a dhow safari, snorkel and  scuba dive. This can be arranged by operators who are easily available at the beach.
  • Kite surf, Windsurf, SUP, kayak and try many other water sports  at H2O extreme, Kenya’s biggest water sports center.
  • Go for sky diving at Skydive Diani. Best way to overcome acrophobia.

Recommendation: Pack your bags already!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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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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Fun facts about Leleshwa Getaway

  • It is about 1 hour from Nairobi.
  • It borders the Nairobi National park from the Ongata Rongai side.
  • It will cost you about Kes. 1000 per person per night with 10 or 12 of your friends .
  • It is perfect for birthdays and parties out of town.
  • It has a river that flows down a team hence a chilling place.
  • It has rocks inhabited by hyraxes and other tiny animals.
  • It has photogenic monkeys that will chill by the terrace waiting for a photosho,
  • It borders Kitengela glass.
  • It is also close to Rolf’s place.

Well, now you know…

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