In the crisp early morning Nairobi air, we boarded a shuttle bus heading for Tanzania, paid our $35 and settled in for the long, bumpy ride. This journey was about 8 hours and included one bathroom break and the worst immigration experience of my life.We pulled up to the Kenya-Tanzania border and had to get off the bus to get an exit stamp in our passports on the Kenya side before walking through the wire gate into Tanzania and heading up to the the immigration office there. Continue reading
Wrapped in bright red, royal purple and brilliant blue, several Maasai men greet us as we wander up to their village. The chief’s son welcomes us and after receiving payment, leads us to the entrance of the village where a group of young women begin to sing traditional Maasai songs. Also brightly dressed, the women’s attire includes intricately beaded necklaces,earrings and bracelets. As the singing comes to an end, the young men take the stage. They begin performing a mash up of traditional dances including the wedding dance and the killing of the lamb dance. The music is a haunting mixture of guttural tribal noises blended together by the young men, who were also draped in beautiful Maasai beading. Continue reading
With the top up on our white safari van and our cameras in hand we were ready to start shooting game as our guide, George, drove into Masai Mara National Park. As the largest and most famous park in Kenya, the Masai Mara’s 1510 sq km plays host to 1000s of animals. So, on our three day safari our camera’s were definitely not disappointed! Inside the gate, we were greeted by a large herd of wildebeest and zebra and almost immediately George had us right up close to a pride of lions lazing in the grass beside the road. Continue reading
The vibrant pink dotting the dark blue water grabs my attention immediately. The pink seems to go on forever and as we drive closer, the pink line begins to take the shape of 1000s of flamingos wading through the still waters of Lake Nakuru. What an unbelievable sight!
We tried to sneak in without being noticed, hoping the noise they were making would hide us, but as soon as we turned the corner, we were spotted!! ‘MZUNGU” the Swahili word for ‘white person’ was now being screamed from every corner of the dining hall as at least a dozen children come running at us. They only stop once they had grasped onto a hand, arm, leg, pocket or whatever they could reach and begin shouting “How are you?” over and over again. Continue reading
The overcrowded streets filled with pedestrians and the almost constant blaring of horns as cars weave tightly in and out of spaces so small it’s amazing they narrowly escape hitting each other. It almost feels like I’m standing in NYC’s Times Square, but the shouts of swahili, the dark black exhaust and the thick, smoggy air bring me back to the city I’m currently in- Nairobi.
Kenya’s capital is a bustling city filled with highrise buildings, shopping centres and people heading off to work in their business suits- a far cry from the vision many people have of Africa. As one of the largest cities in East Africa, Nairobi has lots to offer, but wandering around it’s crowded streets can be an overwhelming and sometimes dangerous experience. However, braving the city sometimes nicknamed ‘Nairobbery’ and fighting through the throngs of people from the matatu station (a matatu is a van like public transportation system that’s cheap and always an adventure-just make sure you have no personal space issues!!) Nairobi leaves you with lots to explore. Continue reading
The journey to Hell was more beautiful than I imagined. After picking up bikes, we began the 2km trek to the entrance of Hell’s Gate National Park in Naivasha, Kenya. With the sand covered, uphill road full of potholes, hell is exactly what it felt like!
As my Lonely Planet guide says ‘there’s visiting national parks, and then there’s experiencing national parks-Hell’s Gate is an experience indeed!’ This park is unique in the fact that you can walk or bike through it on your own and be on the same level as the animals you find grazing there. It was surreal to find myself on a bicycle, pedaling through a Kenyan national park with herds of zebras walking along and giraffes munching on trees only metres away! Continue reading