A Camping Oasis

Someone once said “A Bonfire Is Basically Just A Nightclub In The Mountains” But i would today say “…a bonfire is basically the place of freedom” i believe all campers of anyone who has even done camping can agree on that. That is how my camping went down 2 days before my birthday which is on this day am writing this diary of my weekend getaway as this time i was joined by a fellow travel blogger who was going for her first random camping adventure in my company for 2 days 1 nights short of our initial plan of 3 days but it all ended well.

Yvonne Iguku is her name and is the brain behind “Mimi Times” blog that showcases Kenyan destinations she sets foot. Am smiling waiting to read on her experience of her first camping of this kind. Check her blog mimitimes

Our camping destination was a deep fight for us to come to conclusion as Yvonne kept asking me for the choice i had made. It all begun some few years ago where i decided that once in a year i have to go break away from modern society for a weekend to meditate and reflect on my life the weekend before my birthday and this year the calendar gifted me with a Monday birthday date so the weekend was my favored date of camping.

My settled destination was the now growing tourist destination around the Bird sanctuary called Lake Elementaita in GilGil of the now known Nakuru county funny enough with no campsite settled on even on the day of travel. Saturday came and we were off by matatu from 4NTE headed for Nakuru all excited and hoping for an amazing weekend under the stars.

On Arrival on the Saturday afternoon, we did what every visitor or stop over person does at the famous Kikopey town…………………… yes we followed the culture that has been for many travelers which is Feeding on Ugali and Nyamachoma at first i was worried as my fellow adventure seeker had earlier told me that she had enrolled into a gym: this in my mind clocked that what i had ordered would end up being mine, only to realized there is a “cheat day” for those that sweat out and scream or even cry in the gym trying to loose out some weight to my surprise she joined in the delicious goat meat.

When our stomachs were now set to their default setting, we took “bodaboda” to our decided camp located close to the beautiful lake that i have been there for a number of time and even camped once but with a big group this was going to be my first time alone {let me say first time with a friend on a random camping adventure}. On the rough road we enjoyed the bumpy ride to an amazing most silent campsite i have been to this year so far, Oasis Eco Camp

Phyllis who works as the receptionist welcomed us and directed us to the reception area. Simple and in a most welcoming way was her and still is her definition with great information on the camp to an extent it felt like it was our return visit to the camp. On paying our fees and making final request for our night and weekend she led us down to the camping ground.

The campsite matches its name, all covered by natural trees to buildings set up with much of natural materials like wood and grass. On few occasions we met some monkeys and alot of birds chanting from the trees above our walkway.

On Arrival at the camping ground, i almost dropped my bag to shout out loudly “Perfect!!” but i held my joy in my heart as i smiled with every step we took on the grounds. Reasons for my excitement was that the lake was almost pink in color thanks to hundred of thousands of Phoenicopterus roseus sorry i meant greater flamingos that were all over and as far as the lake stretched. More happiness was also seeing a family on one end one child reading her book, the other swinging in a hammock while the mother prepare a meal in the makeshift kitchen as the dad checked on their tents one on the roof of their car and a large one on the grass.

In the natural bushes was a line of permanent tents with also some cars parked by a good sign that they were also occupied. Walking past bonfire spots we choose one corner with undisturbed views of the lake completed by the amazing Sleeping Warrior hill a haven for hikers in this region. We did set up our tent and unpacked our bags ready for the night and a weekend away from the busy city.

Being her first experience of such camping, i took the advantage to give basic information for camping to Yvonne i cant wait to read or hear her experience on her solo camping adventure. Darkness crawled in slowly and it was meal time, time for dinner….. My camping mate had offered to do the cooking as i had told her that such a camping we don’t do KFC, Pizzas or the luxurious tasteful meals we enjoy in the city but we make it simple and quick but she did a perfect simple meal that we took down with a hot cup of milk coffee. The words “Cooking and eating food outdoors makes it taste infinitely better than the same meal prepared and consumed indoors.” Fennel Hudson, Fine Things – Fennel’s Journal – No. 8 came true as we enjoyed our dinner.

Our plan for a bonfire turned well as we got more firewood at our cooking spot and we shared so much stories, experiences to what we write about on our blogs. The main thing that made us happier is when we say a group friends, they were about 6 young men who arrived later in the night and our neighbors in the camping fees, they did many things with a lot of ease from cooking, barbecue to so much which gave us hope that its not true that all men just spend time watching Premier league and drenching down on alcohol, i now believe that even men travel and camp more today just like the ladies who have come to be known or believed they travel more which i would say they are good at marketing their travel thanks to the selfies and photos they take on their adventures which is norm of the men. We went to bed late in the night went temperatures confirmed to everyone that indeed we were warm blooded and not cold blooded.

The Sunrise was a miss in the morning as the sky was not clear but it opened up later after the sunrise. Smoking bonfire spots from previous burning wood now in charcoal and ash, from one end to the other, zips were almost in a choir mode as everyone was rushing out of their tent to enjoy the golden views of the lake and the pink color from the beautiful flamingos. A walk to the banks of the lake enjoying close moments with less bothered flamingos and big white pelicans almost felt like a walk in paradise.

At our kitchen spot we managed to give life to our dying fire of previous night, made our breakfast as we watched fellow campers go around with their morning. We got our-self ready hitting the showers in line waiting after camper to camper left the hot showered water. Got our tent brought down and bags packed ready for the new day. We dropped our bags at the reception as we had planned our 2nd day to be a nature and lake exploration. Slowly and with alot of enjoyment we walked along the lake into an accacia forest and to the Kikopey hot springs located some few minutes walk around the Oasis Camp. Yvonne got to learn about fishing from young boys who were curiously trying to some extent successful with a small net to capture the resident Tilapia grahami found in the lake with the back ground of now visible Elngiragata Olmorani “Sleeping Warrior” or few call “Delamere’s Nose” the man who settled here and established the Soysambu Conservancy at Maasai Ol muteita or what we call today Elementaita , reflecting its tendency to shrivel to a huge white salt pond.

Got learn and surprise many with my proficiency in Kikuyu language that made me an attraction to many locals who had also visited the hot springs as they were amazed at how i was good in the language and we got to chat with many of them from young boys, ladies who at first wondered how they would talk to me for they knew none of the Queen’s language to men who were happy that i out did them in the Kikuyu language and swahili.

A dark cloud hung on the horizon with sounds of thunder a good sign of possible heavy rain prompted us to leave and catch a matatu back to the city. We were glad to make it back in the city in good time and marked the end of my meditation camping before my birthday. I am glad to see a friend join the spirit and great outdoor camping lovers and i am glad to tell Yvonne of Mimi Times “Welcome to the camping Life where we enjoy a billion star night and well conditioned tents and i believe you agree to this words, “My tent doesn’t look like much but, as an estate agent might say, “It is air-conditioned and has exceptional location.”

If planning to visit Oasis Eco Camp

call 0729910410 / 0729940165 or visit their website click here……………….

Below are the charges for accomodation at Oasis Camp:

  1. Camping with own equipment Ksh 500 {firewood is 500}
  2. 5 permanent tents 2 person per tent Ksh 4000
  3. Cottage 1: 3 bedroom 6 pax on self catering Ksh 12,000 per night
  4. Cottage 2 : 1 bedroom 2 pax {no self catering} Ksh 5,000 per night
  5. Cottage 3: 2 bedroom 4 pax on selfcatering Ksh 6,000 per night
  6. Cottage 4. 1 bedroom 2 pax {no self catering} Ksh 5,000 per night

If you need meals, they still provide meals for you if you are not on self catering or camping without cooking utensils and they cost as below:

  1. Breakfast Ksh 600
  2. Lunch Ksh 750
  3. Dinner Ksh 700
  4. sodas Ksh 100
  5. Delmonte juice Ksh 400
  6. Water in 500ml ksh 100

In the spirit of promoting locals, in case you visit Oasis Eco Camp or need to visit the Kikopey hot springs at the lake don’t worry on how to access them just call this helpful boda boda rider by the name Viny 0712427391

Till the next adventure, enjoy your adventures and new month as i remain

yours,

#ChinkuTravels


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