If writing this blog post was a competency-based curriculum (CBC) our new education system, I would be approaching excellence, Eliud would be Exceeding excellence and Chinku, just excellent. Eliud did his post immediately after arrival and Chinku probably 2 days later. Truth be told I have been in and out of hospital since we got back. For instance, its Tuesday 2nd, 9:50 am, sited in hospital waiting for my name to be called out to the doctors. The nurse has just checked my weight and its funny how the scale reads -2 kgs from the last weight check done 4 days ago. I am scared as hell and I can’t restrain myself from watching YouTube videos on the same procedure about to be done on me. 8hrs of no food (no wonder -2kgs) and come with someone you trust. Sorry guys my name just got called so can we finish this post the next time I am alive? (This is the part you type lol, you will be fine, you are stronger, and put 100 love emoji people also it’s a travel post, not a hospital post)
#Godisgood #health #iamalive….my status all day long. I just woke up from anesthesia and I only remember promising to finish up this blog post if I wake up again. Shall we?
Last year I read escape to the wild by Chinku and from that post, I hoped to one-day step foot in the same area. It’s a group of 2 ladies and 4 gentlemen setting out to the less traveled areas on a Sunday morning, Chinku is mteja and Yvonne being an early bird is first in town. She heads to Prontos restaurant for some coffee and waits for the rest. Travel with Eliud is second and I would describe him as fun. Should I tell you how we met? He gave us a hot hotel deal last year to Malindi and he surprised us on our final day by showing up to our hotel. He is the type that would confuse a girl into a church (hehehe). Virgin explorer was second and from our stay, there is nothing virgin in him! This was our first-time meet, and his Embu ascent is to die for not sure where he would confuse a girl to though. Denis Africa vacation is fourth. Known him for 6 years since day one of campus and he’s the “ad jump in front of a train for you” kind of guy. He would lead a girl into a miraa farm. Lg village girl travels is the ultimate girl solo traveler. Woman, how do you hack mornings in the forest alone? I have followed her on Facebook and this was our first time meet. She’s approachable and crazy. Fun is fun for her. Chinku did not even get to town. You’ve met him from Elementaita. Truth is he’s the kindest of all these guys. Mainly for hiking slowly with me and also for the travel invites.
This is 4 days camping event on a budget and with no planned activities apart from a hike to Entosopia River. We are hosted by Leonard in his nice compound where we have pitched our tents and have access to all camping site amenities even better being in a homestead and nearer to our hiking mountains. We cook everything on our own and thanks to our guide Nandio we have enough fruits. This year my interaction with locals has improved and for a fact, Nandio is the sweetest of all. He’s a young Maasai guy with so much to offer. He’s patience when hiking got tougher was incredible. I felt safe every time he was around. On being married he played enough games with my head so am not sure he is. Locals here are polite and the clubs despite being in the forest are lit. One thing though its only one bus that goes to this area leaves Kiserian town at 2 pm and arrives at 6 pm at Entosopia Nguruman village, and leaves Entosopia Nguruman at 4 am to arrive at Kiserian around 10 am. If you miss it you can hitch a ride on the Lories that ferry farm products to the city and vice versa.
Day 001- Nairobi-Nguruman Loita Hills
Assembled in town and down to Kiserian via Rongai. Lunch at Kiserian and left for Nguruman at 2:30 pm. This was one smooth ride with views of Ngong hills and thousands of stories. We all occupied the last sit and were probably the noisest. The further you travel the dustier and hotter it becomes. Most passengers are Maasais. The bus drops off people as we proceed and wow here came Lake Magadi and Tata Company. This is the main stop as you are entering a private town.
‘What does that mean?”, I innocently asked Chinku who went into detail to explain that this is the only privately owned town in Kenya bearing in mind; It is virtually run by a private organization that runs social and political activities of its residents and treats members of the public coming in with some restrictions. For our case, the driver registers at the main entrance and on the return date, a guide from Tata firm comes in checking what passengers are taking out with them. The vehicle drops of goods for vendors and off we hit the sandy rough road arriving Nguruman at around 6:30 pm. Nandio welcomes us on behalf of Leonard who works at Lentorre lodge with a crate of ripe mangoes and pawpaws. Some locals notice our presence and serve us some traditional drinks like ‘muratina’ for the Agikuyu community. Tents are pitched and immediately after dinner we head to the local clubs to experience the nightlife. The bar manager notices our Kikuyu language and immediately plays ‘mugithi’ music which keeps us there for hours. Lately, I have been embarrassing people on travel when I order things not likely to be found in the area of visit. This time round I order for sweet red wine and everyone bursts out. No chills! At around 1 am we retire to sleep but before that Leonard teaches us how to detect a scorpion with UV light. The area has quite several scorpions and snakes. The science behind scorpions and UV light is too much for this post but make google your friend.
Day 002- Hiking Loita Hills & Entosopia river swim
“Yvonneeeeeeee” shouting Virgin. This is what I woke up to. The plan was to have an early breakfast and start the hike latest by 7 am. This happened. The hike starts and ends at Entosopia primary school for around 5 to 6 hours with a swim after summitting down in Entosapia River. We start in Kajiado County and as we proceed our guides declares we are in Narok County at some point. If you keep heading further you will find yourself in Maasai mara. The trail up is either dusty or rocky or even both. The views of ranges and farming in the village are enough motivation to keep you going. I later learn that Nguruman escarpment forms the western boundary of Kenya’s rift valley to the south near Tanzania’s border through Lg who has been to Tanzania’s Lake Natron which gets its water from Entosopia River and river Ewaso Ng’iro from Mau forest. Swimming in this river remains my favorite part and like Waiyaki from the book the river between, I felt born again once done with the swim. Our descend starts around 1 pm and by 4 pm we arrive at the campsite. The rest of the evening is spent making and having late lunch/early dinner, playing cards and enjoying a Malawi gin thanks to the village girl.
Day 003- baboon research center & Farm tour
The beauty of an open trip is that you can get to bail out on activities that less interest you and take up new ones that no one else wishes to take. In my case baboons remain my favorite animals. Mainly because growing up in the Aberdare ranges meant meeting them on your way home from school in the forest. I have watched them cane the infants and even bury their own. This was my only opportunity to learn more about them from experts. While everyone bailed on this Nandio offered to pick me up on his motorbike and down to this institute (how cool is that? Yvonne riding with a tall Maasai guy?)
Turns out the main guide is his cousin and thus he gave me the best tour. The best bit is that female baboon gets to decide who to conceive with. (girl child empowerment! right?) I got to learn on their feeding habits, territory protection and their communication skills. Did you know their gestation period goes to six months? Thought you should know(smiling). Went back in time for breakfast while everyone was up. And down to the river for a swim and off for a farm tour courtesy of Leonard. Honestly speaking we just ate his fruits. Back to the camping site and the worst happened. Guess what? It was time to say goodbye to Nandio. I wanted to hug him but he’s quite shy and ad probably never let go of the hug. That’s what happens when you meet good people, spend quality time with them only to part ways. I promised to go back some time or invite him to the city. This being the last night with early morning the next day I went to bed early while the rest left for the club. It rained heavily and blessings were upon us for a safe journey the next day
We were at the bus stop by 3:50am and left for kiserian at 4 am. Arrived at kiserian by 101m, breakfast and proceeded to Nairobi town. I slept through the journey all though my colleagues claim to have seen giraffes and zebras on the way back. It’s always sad to say goodbye but there comes a time. Goodbye Nandio, goodbye guys, good bye Loita Hills.
-Only one bus goes to Nguruman every day; leaves Kiserian at 2pm and arrives Nguruman at around 6:30pm, leaves Nguruman at 4am every morning and arrives Kiserian around 10:30am every day.
-If road is not your transport option there are flights that land at Nguruman airstrip.
-Accommodation ranges from Lentorre lodge to camping t either airstrip campsite, cool waters camp or at lalenok research center on arrangement.
Kiserian- Nguruman: 500 pp
Meals for the four days: 1,500 pp
Total: <= 3,000pp
All in Kenyan shillings