NDERE, Kenya, Feb 12 – As domestic tourism continues to spread its wings, there are some areas in the country that are yet to be truly discovered.
Areas such as the western and north eastern regions possess a wide array of the raw natural beauty that is commonplace in Kenya, but have yet to be exploited to the ‘d’.
One such area lies in Kit Mikayi, sitting on a 2.5 square kilometre piece of land about ten minutes into Lake Victoria by boat, the Ndere Island National Park.
We got on to the boat provided by the Kenya Wildlife Service, strapped on our luminous orange life jackets and set off. There is no proper jetty on the other side, but the make-shift cluster of rocks added to the anticipation. It felt like going into a jungle.
The path is covered in a canopy of trees and we had to trudge along single file. The path is narrow, winding upwards, the flora is very dense – and gives you the feeling of a local episode of LOST. (Just a heads up, please take this hill as slowly as possible and rest if you need to, it is slightly taxing.)
The National Park is host to Impalas, Baboons, other primates and lots of grass. After about 15 minutes of trekking, the canopy opens up into wide and vast grasslands.
We continued walking upwards still in single file, because the path that has been created was fresh and it would require a bit of slashing to make a new one. I think the raw perfection should stay as is!
Apart from the animals there is absolutely nothing on the island; just a spectacular view of the shore and tons of fresh air. The weather on the island is hot and we needed a lot of water to moderate our body temperature. It’s a perfect place to trek, write a book, sleep in the open or in a tent – just as long as you make sure that whatever you take into the Island, you leave with it.
The warden who was showing us round, Mohammed, said that they have a campsite on the shore for those who would rather not stay on the island. There is also an ablution block for the campers, because even on the island there is neither a toilet nor a bathroom.
The cost to camp is Sh500 and the boat ride is Sh200. It costs cheaper for children, of course. Other than that all you need is food and as you will see there is plenty of fish in the vicinity. Sport fishing is going to be allowed soon.
By the way, the Serena hotel is planning to build a luxury hotel on a smaller island nearby.