Short Escape to the Wild

I once read some words that said” ….take vacations, go as many places as you can, whenever you can….” And since then I have never turned back.

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so recently My travel Brother #TravelWithEliud

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a fellow travel blogger {click here to check his blog #TravelWithEliud }and I decided to head out to the Masai land of Ngurumani for it has been a destination that was long due for our return visit.

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The initial visits for both of us, was all filled with memorable adventure and we wanted it to be the same if not more adventure packed. Our plan was to use public means all the way but our big brother Leonard Ndungu a man doing great work at Lentorre Lodge {click here for more on lentoree lodgeLentorre Lodge } a hidden gem of this side of the Magical Kenya, he offered us some transport from his friends at Lake Magadi one of the lowest points of the Kenyan Riftvalley to our camp for of our visit that we got to know of its name later as Airstrip Campsite a place that’s the reason I am writing this experience more.

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It being a backpacking adventure we stopped at Kiserian town for some shopping and restocking ready for few days in the land of masai as we had planned to camp during our stay. Lessons begun to emerge as we waited for our departure. First of all, we had received instructions and had been advice to pick up Matatus heading to lake Magadi which we didn’t see first only for us to be directed to the busy bus heading out to Nguruman which took time to be loaded with all sort of stock from crates of beer and soda to bags of sugar to others only for us to depart late in the afternoon causing panic to our waiting transport in Magadi town. However it took us about 2 hours and a half to get to Magadi where we were received by our waiting transport.

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Our adventure begun swiftly as we drove round lake Magadi as the original route across the lake was flooded thanks to the rainy season that we were later to realize its effects and make us fear flooded river more than ever in our life. Our drive took us across the amazing and untouched Shompole Conservancy what I now believe isamong the few untouched natural eco system that I have witness in most of all my travel. Located in the southern Rift Valley of Kenya, Lake Natron (in Tanzania) bordering to the South,to the West is the Western wall of the Great Rift Valley and Lake Magadi standing like a curtain hiding it all the beauty to the East. There are two Maasai communities ranches or let me say conservancies that are Shompole and Olkiramatian

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Driving through this untouched eco system you can get tired of clicking on your camera because it is so rich in terms of bird life, large mammals, key predators, the presence of elephants, our guide told us few days prior to our arrival they had sported hundreds of elephants with a friendly warning of us getting long nights filled with Lion roars to the calling of the ever noisy hyenas, we were so excited that we had planned this adventure at the right time. On our drive to Nguruman we would stop to give way to antelopes, taking pictures of the abundant birds, while later as we got to our campsite we got the best Sunset over the Loita Hills that was so beautiful making us getting late to arrive at the campsite.

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Our stay was at the beautiful shaded Airstrip Campsite that got its name for being next to an airstrip that serves Lentorre Lodge and the larger area. On arrival we set up our tent and got to start our stay far from home and city to few nights in a land far from home. Dinner was a simple meal of Ugali and goat meat that we needed to have energy for the next day that we were to hike up the Loita Hills.

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Early morning, rising up on the sound of motorbikes arriving. In this area, motorbikes are the mode of transport if you are not willing to walk in the heat of the day under the cover of dust. Our guide was Nandiyo a masai guide born and raised in Ngurumani with a great experience of the larger Entasopia all the way to Lake Natron. Packed our cameras, drinking water and snacks for our hike up the magnificent Loita hills off we rode our “tour mobile” on two wheels all before the scotching sun was out to stare at us hiking up the Loita hills.

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At the foot of Loita hills is the mighty Ewaso Ng’iro that a visitor would undermine its power by its dwindling levels of water. Evidence lay before us, as though warning us not to play games or undermine the little water levels that was flowing silently and peacefully. Big and heavy rocks washed from up stream had found a resting place for themselves after the River showed off its power during the just concluded rainy season. Our guide shows us a buildings bearing a brown mark almost above their windows telling us that it is the only thing he could first show us the real level of the angry awaken sleeping Ewaso Ng’iro.

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Step by step, we crossed the banks of this mighty sleeping giant, clicking our cameras trying to imagine how small the river was when we last visited on a drier season when rain was only in prayers.

Up to the beautiful panoramic views of the masai community land all the way to mount olgesaile standing guard in the horizon. We got to rest once in a while as we took more time to try and capture the views and enjoying some rest. After about 2 hours we got to the peak and another bush warning came from our guide, “…..kwa ajili ya mvua mbogo wamekua wengi, kwa hivyo tukae macho…” {due to the rains, buffalos have become so many so lets all be on the look out…” this made us walk so carefully as on the previous night we had been told of how the don’t fear any animal except from a buffalo!!!!!

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However, our fear was short lived as we made it to the jewel of this area, The waterfall!!! Far from my previous visit to this waterfall, it was now on a much open space thanks to the heavy rains that flooded the river clearing the mighty rocks and bushes leaving the waterfall all bear like a chicken who has got all its feathers plucked out.

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However, it still holds its beauty. With us taking the advantage of resting we got to learn more abour the masai culture and history like the reasons why there are no rhinos in this part of southern most part of The Rift valley: thanks to poaching. However, the other big5 are easily spotted.

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After our rest, we begun our decent and back to our campsite. It was much easier hiking down the hill as we were now satisfied and so happy that it had not been such a hot day. We shared our past travel experiences, from incidents to memories that we carry in our minds of our different travel adventures.

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Our overnight that was meant to be our last, was all covered up in roaring lions and hyenas who seems to be laughing at our stories at the bonfire. The next morning we were up for a new adventure along the banks of the Ewaso Ng’iro on a baboon tracking adventure. We got to learn so much about this brave cousins of ours. An example is the solving of the myth behind their red colored “bums” what did they tell you as how baboons got red swollen “bums”??? Did you know its a signaling tool for mating time or season? Well, just like you are surprised that’s how my brother #TravelWithEliud was making him get so disappointed because almost all African children are told that baboons when young and ready for initiation, they are made to slide on hard rocks making their “bums” turn red…ā€¦.

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The baboon walk takes about 2 hours or more depending on your interest. Later we retreated to our camp and rested as it was our last day with the masai. Its on this time that we got to appreciate the difference of luxury travel and budget.

As we were comfortable at our campsite, our guide came calling us to go at the run way of the airstrip. 20 minutes later a small plane came flying above our camp turned on the run way roaring towards us and came to a stop next to some lancruisers fitted with chairs on their roofs for game viewing. Later on a second plane came roaring and stopped.

A number of tourists alighted from the planes and boarded the vehicles to start their adventure while enjoying luxury in the wild. { I pray soon I may also go experience the same adventure as the flying fellow travelers }

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on our departure back to Nairobi, to today I have been wishing that such destinations can be of interest to all travelers. The amazing views of wild animals to a life deep in the true untouched Kenyan wilderness, is so relaxing with a great time far from the busy city life to a life away from our new generation addiction: phones, as this place has less phone network coverage. I was left wondering why we rush to destinations that are so packed yet there are places that you can be the only one in a campsite or on a trail.

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I hope we can travel more, explore wide and share more of our adventures. Many ask me how I plan for my adventures and I just say that I don’t plan but when an adventure comes calling, am too weak to assume the call but I answer to the call loudly so readily for what the adventure brings along.

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So when you have time (time is just a making so you can always have time) fill life with adventures not things, have stories to tell, not stuff to show

#ChinkuTravels #HiddenKenyanGems

11 thoughts on “Short Escape to the Wild

  1. hahahaaa if i never comment on your post call me be sure my account has been blocked! can not stop to laugh at “Its on this time that we got to appreciate the difference of luxury travel and budget.” great post! May God touch our bank accounts

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