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Machakos is located about 63km from Nairobi and thus an easy location to get away to. The area is dominated by the Akamba community, and it is generally a semi-arid place. The below are activities I have engaged in severally whenever we visit. 1. Visit Machakos Peoples Park This is a popular public park that is indeed a joy to visit. The landscaping at the park makes it a beauty to look at and walk through, it has great scenery and a nice quiet place to picnic or relax. The  paths are well demarcated to ensure people keep off the grass as well as having several activities people can engage in. From Machakos town, it is about 1.5km and thus one can either walk or use a tuktuk. I have engaged in the following while there and highly recommend them: a) Zip lining: I was excited when we stumbled upon…

Kakamega is a town found in Western Kenya and is 110km from Eldoret. My main enticement to visit this area was to see the famous Crying Stone. I had heart a lot about this mythical stone that cried all year round, yet, it was no where near a  river. To make the story even more weird, it was said have flowing water from atop a stand alone rock, I had to investigate. Crying Stone: There is no longer a “Crying Stone” but a “Former Crying Stone”, sorry to disappoint you. It seems to have grown up, stopped crying and now all that is left is a majestic stone with streaks of former tears. I was informed that it had stopped crying and  that its tears had dried up years ago. I was greatly disappointed to have travelled all this way only to discover this. I wondered why the “net sphere”…

Eldoret had been playing tricks with my mind for some time and thus, it seemed like the only way to end the mental games was to visit and explore it. We thus left Nairobi and headed to Eldoret, which is the capital of Uasin Gishu county.  Though we had planned to only visit Eldoret area, Elgeyo Marakwet seemed to want to show off and indeed we had lots to explore. 1: Elgeyo Marakwet Driving through this area was a beauty and we managed to traverse four of its constituencies. The general scenery composed of hills and valleys and we had to  slowly drive on the winding roads. It offers various attractions and sceneries in its different constituencies. a)Kerio Valley: This area offers great aerial viewpoints of the area and thus I highly recommend you make a stop over here. Visit Flourspar Mine I learnt about this place as a young…

Angama Mara is a luxury lodge that is located in Narok county, Kenya, on the periphery of the famous Maasai Mara National Park. Angama is a Kiswahili word that means “suspended in mid air” and truly, the lodge is suspended safely atop the hills, close to the clouds. We would be staying at this lodge while also enjoying the beauty that is the famous Maasai Mara National Reserve. We arrived here via road and it was exciting to see many wildebeests as we approached it. At the gate/barrier, we were met by security, who then had to confirm that we had a reservation. As we were ushered in, I felt like I had just shed off my “common man” tag at the gate and was now been elevated to Very Important Person. The whole experience at the hotel can only best be expressed in clusters as below: 1.Common Areas: a)…

 The Maasai Mara National Reserve is best known as “The Mara” and is a world renown National Reserve located in Narok county, Kenya. Although Kenya has many amazing National Parks/Reserves across the country, this one is famous as it hosts  the Annual Wildebeest Great Migration. This is when millions of wildebeest, zebras and gazelles travel thousands of kilometers from the Serengeti in Tanzania to the Maasai Mara in Kenya, in search of greener pasture.They then cross the dangerous crocodile infested Mara river, while at it.  Immediately we entered the Maasai Mara National Reserve, which is about 10 minutes from the hotel, the wild life extravaganza begun. We were welcomed by a tower of giraffes and a dazzle of zebras. They playfully walked near our vehicle and would periodically stop, as if to allow us to take great pictures of them. Soon after, it seemed like word had gone round to the…

The Marsabit Lake Turkana Festival is one of those “must attend” festivals in Kenya. The festival has been held annually in Loiyangalani since 2008 and it brings together the 14 communities found within the county who are dominantly pastoral and have preserved their culture. You will interact with communities like the Turkana, Samburu , Borana, Gabbra , Rendile , El Molo , Somali, Burji ,Konso, Sakuye ,Waata, Garee, Wayu, and Dassanatch, the last 5 I learnt of their existence at the festival.These communities are stereotyped to be enemies due to the many incidences of banditry in the region, but here , they were all, eating , drinking, singing and dancing together.  The air in Loiyangalani was charged, super charged. The excitement of the people was almost tangible and equally contagious. The locals were expectant of the “fruits” the festival would bring the town whilst I was expectant of what I…

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…

 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…

Everyone I asked about how to get to Lake Turkana from Suguta Marmar had the same response, “Nani huenda huko” which is swahili for, “who goes there?” I thus opted to proceeed to Maralal town hoping to get help there seeing as it is a big town. After several failed attempts, we found a lady who was honest enough to tell us why no one was helping our pursuit.  She spoke to us like a worried mother and said, ” Wasichana wenye huenda huko ni wasichana wanaenda na wanaume wazungu ama wazee”   which translates to,” the girls who travel there are those who are travelling with male foreigners or old men.” (Ouch). However, I think just seeing the look in our eyes, the backpacks on our backs and the lack of foreign or old men around us, seemed to settle her and she informed us that we would need…