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I grew up learning about Ethiopia, previously known as Abyssinia, as it is a neighbour to Kenya. We learnt of how Ethiopians had managed to defend their borders from being colonized during the Scramble for Africa, how it was ruled by Emperors with one of the popular ones being Haile Selassie, that it has over 80 ethnic groups and how deeply cultural they are. It is for these reasons and more that led to my actual arrival into Ethiopia years later, with my first stop being Addis Ababa, the capital city. Highlights of my trip:  1) Witnessing a Coffee Ceremony: Whenever Ethiopians have a guest, they are honoured by sharing the “Coffee Ceremony”. They prepare a cup of coffee from scratch, the traditional way. The coffee beans which already have their husks removed are sorted and washed thoroughly. I didn’t  know they are almost cream in colour yet we grow…

It is officially known as the United Republic of Tanzania The official language in Tanzania is  Kiswahili It is bordered by 8 countries, Kenya and Uganda to the north; Rwanda, Burundi and Democratic Republic of Congo to the West, Zambia, Malawi and Mozambique to the South . It is home to mount Kilimanjaro, the highest free standing mountain in the world and the highest mountain in Africa standing at 5895m Tanzania is home to the world’s largest inactive, intact and unfilled volcanic crater, Ngorongoro. It has a diameter of 19kms and is 600m deep and is a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Three of the largest lakes in Africa are found here-Lake Tanganyika, Lake Victoria and Lake Nyasa It has over 120 tribes and a population of about 56 million Some of the worlds oldest settlements have been found in Olduvai Gorge in Tanzania and it is a UNESCO World Heritage The island of…

Mt. Kilimanjaro is the highest free standing mountain in the world and the highest mountain in Africa, standing at 5895m. Mountain climbing is not an activity I engage in regularly, choosing rather to be strategic in the mountains I hike. I have hiked Mount Kenya, the highest mountain in Kenya and the second highest in Africa and thus attempting the highest after it came almost natural. As they say, “Go Big or Go Home”. I am happy to state that I did successfully accomplish this mean feat and super proud of that. Below are some of the tips I believe will greatly assist anyone planning to attempt the same.  1. Travel Light: I know, they always say this but somehow we never listen, please travel light. I know the porters will carry your luggage, so no stress on your end but, be humane and only carry what you need. There is…

I was enticed to hike  Mount Kilimanjaro due to its numerous accolades that range from, Worlds Highest Free Standing Mountain at 5895M/19341 Ft AMSL , Highest Mountain in Africa, Uhuru Peak the highest point in Africa and being one of the Worlds Largest Volcanoes. I thus mentally prepared myself to do all it would take to ensure that I succeeded in Conquering Mount Kilimanjaro. When I conquered Mount.Kenya 4895m, which is the second highest mountain in Africa, I resolved that it was only befitting to climb Mt.Kilimanjaro next because as they say “Go Big or Go home.” That is how I found myself venturing into Kilimanjaro National Park which is a UNESCO World Heritage Site and home to Mount Kilimanjaro.  Due to not being an ardent regular hiker, I opted to use the Marangu route, which is considered  easier  and would take 7 days. Day 1: Marangu Gate 1860m to…

Isiolo We arrived in Isiolo from Meru after a near mis-hap and after discovering that the two towns were only about 53km apart. Isiolo is mainly inhabited by the Borana community and since I know little about the community, I thought it would be a great, mind opening experience. The area also has a high Muslim community who are dominantly conservative, thus, I would advise one to dress modestly. Upon arrival, we were met with challenge upon challenge. One, the ladies seemed averse to talking to strangers which means we had near nil interaction with them. Two, we had been advised not to engage the men as it is culturally inappropriate.  After several attempts, we gave up, clearly, we wouldn’t have the cultural integration experience we had hoped for. Three, when we asked the other locals for suggestions on places of interest in Isiolo, they all seemed to have no…

Meru is located about 271km from Nairobi and its main income earner is farming. The main language spoken here is “Meru” and the people here are  thus referred to as “Ameru”. Our trip here was filled with highs and lows and  the following activities: 1. Sampling  local delicacies I sampled some of the loacl traditional dishes like pumpkin soup, mukimu and chicken which I greatly enjoyed. The “Mukimu” was made from maize and peas boiled together, then boiled potatoes are added and then mashed together. This was accompanied by “kienyeji”  chicken which means traditional chicken and was very tasty. Party: We sampled the party scene in Meru town and were greatly suprised at how vibrant it was. The establishment we visited was packed, the music great and the overall mood awesome. 2.  Head to Mukulu  Our visit to Meru was hit by several bottle necks. As we travelled there, we…

This is a must attend festival that should be on everyone’s bucket list. Mombasa in itself is one of those places I can’t get enough of. Once, twice, numerous times is never enough.Everything from the amazing beaches, to the beauty that is the Indian Ocean, to the diverse cultures that live there, to the well preserved historical places like Fort Jesus, the list is endless. When I heard about the cultural event, and knowing how I am really attracted to cultures, I bent backwards to ensure that I got to attend it. I am very glad I did as I got to experience the below. A) Borana Culture I hardly knew much about the Borana community before this, so  seeing them exposing their culture was outstanding. They out did themselves in showcasing various elements of their culture from their food, clothing, music and dance among others. They are also pastoralists by…

 What inspired my first, solo, backpacking expedition in Kenya you may wonder? Well, curiosity and a moment of insanity may be to blame I believe. Most people who know or have heard of Northern Kenya have the perception that the area is dry, undeveloped and is a security threat to all due to the numerous insecurity cases ranging from cattle rustling to deadly inter community/clan clashes. One may thus wonder, why, of all places , I chose this area. Well, it is only after one of my foreign readers queried on the safety of solo, female backpackers travelling in Kenya that it hit me, I didn’t actually know, as I had never traveled solo in Kenya. My conscience wouldn’t be clear if I responded with a generic response as all my articles and information are about my actual, personal experiences. My brain thus conjured this amazing albeit insane plan that…

All I had ever heard about Northern Kenya was negative. Community clashes, banditry, drought, poverty, among others. Thus as I ventured off, this is all I was prepared to see and experience. I was however greatly impressed with the beauty that is Northern Kenya and thus will share both the good and the bad, everything has two sides like a coin, right? 1. Friendly People The people I met on this venture were very friendly. Yes, at first most were skeptic of this “stranger”, but with time, most became my friends and others felt like family. They are very warm, smiling seems like a part of them and they will go out of their way to make one feel welcome. 2: Rich Culture This region is over flowing with culture. The communities here have managed to shrug off being consumed by the foreign culture opting to appreciate their vibrant culture.…

 Loiyangalani, home of Lake Turkana was to be my last stop on my backpacking solo, overland, via public means, from Nairobi to Northern Kenya expedition. I thus approached it from Baragoi via hitch hiking a lorry/truck. This was not my preferred mode of transport but after having stayed in Baragoi for about five days and discovering that there are no public vehicles from there to Loiyangalani, this was my only option. When we heard that a truck/lorry heading there had stopped over in the town, I hurriedly went to talk to the driver and plead my case. He eventually agreed albeit one condition, I would have to sit atop the railings of the truck/lorry as its front and back compartment were full with luggage. I did not hesitate, if this is how it would have to happen, then that is how we would travel. I however did it with my heart…

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