A journey across Kenya
Although I have lived in Kenya for ten years it always amazes me that I can return and still find incredible new places, and unique experiences. Ordinarily, two weeks in Kenya would not result in a blog post and a tonne of photographs, but this is entirely different. This trip left me breathless on several occasions and I can’t help but share the magic!
We flew into Nairobi from London and spent the night with a friend, before driving up the Rift Valley Plateau to Ol Pejeta Safari Cottages. After a glass of wine around the fire, looking up at a spectacular star scape I went straight to bed, because I was exhausted and this is where I sleep best! I am well travelled in Africa enough to tell you that Ol Pejeta delivers consistently good wildlife and spectacular landscapes, so it’s my go-to suggestion for visitors to Kenya who don’t want to risk disappointment. We spent four nights here; I wish it were longer!
We managed to pull my father away from work for the weekend, packed fishing rods and headed off up Mt Kenya to Rutundu Log Cabins. Prince William proposed to Kate at this very spot, and I can completely understand why. This is possibly one of the most romantic places in the world! For those of us who are a little short in the pocket to arrive by helicopter, Rutundu is hugely inaccessible. It’s a seemingly endless, bumpy drive along roads that sometimes barely exist. Thank goodness for our high rise 4WD vehicle, or we would not have made it! When we arrived we were greeted by a gigantic gorge, our lodging on the other side. Whilst we were wondering how on earth we were going to get across this gigantic gorge, bizarrely, a smiling young man called Peter soon emerged from the bush and sent our bags across the crevice by way of a dodgy looking pulley system. Do. Not. Panic. With our goods safely across, we crossed the gorge on foot, becoming quickly and acutely aware of the lack of oxygen at this altitude (3,156m above sea level), and settled into our cosy log cabin for the night.
The following morning we left early to hike up to Lake Alice. For as long as I have lived in Kenya I never even dreamed I would get to see this body of water. High up in the mountain, turquoise in colour and completely quiet. Paradise!
For some reason we had decided it would be a good idea to drive from the top of the mountain all the way down to the bottom of the rift valley in the same day. At the base of Mt Kenya we exchanged my dad for my mom, who arrived with a good supply of chapattis and coke (a staple!) to keep us going until we arrived at Elephant Bedroom Camp in Samburu for a late lunch. The camp is beautifully positioned on the shores of the Ewaso Nyiro river, inviting all sorts of animals down to it’s waters to drink in the heat of the day. More impressive than this are the elephants who call this camp home, and think nothing of wandering no further than two metres away from us little humans wallowing in our verandah plunge pools!
Samburu is a beautiful park, with high rising hills towering over the meandering river, and huge abundance and diversity of wildlife. It remains one of my favourite places in Kenya.
From Samburu we drove back up the escarpment and spent the night at Ol Pejeta Safari Cottages, before continuing on to Nairobi to meet our flight to Malindi on the coast. We arrived at the beautiful Kobe Suite Resort for a friends wedding by midday, in the rain. The wedding party was a bit flustered, as you can imagine. However, the skies soon cleared and what followed was three days of glorious sunshine, warm Indian ocean water and a wedding to remember. Having not spent much time on the North coast prior to this I was amazed by how much I loved it, and am planning to return next year.