My travels to Western Kenya – Part 1 #TembeaKenya

July 3, 2014 3:41 pm
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A collage of the photograghs captured during Anita's road to Western.
A collage of the photographs captured during Anita’s road to Western/ ANITA NDERU

, NAIROBI, Kenya, Jul 3 – Ignorance may be the one of the reasons why you will never really have ‘lived’ in the country you live in, in this case Kenya. And I shall proceed (as you expect me to) to decipher why. I will base this on my own experience as I really do have a talent where talking about myself in first, second and third person is concerned.

This East African country of ours is famed for its coastal sun and sands! Never having visited the coastal region leads to reactions from your peers that borders on mob justice. So every year Kenyans migrate to the coastal region like a pilgrimage or a rite of passage. Go us band-wagonists!

Then there is the Maasai Mara; it hosts the great migration which is billed as the eighth wonder of the world. At around the same time, every year, the Mara hits the headlines without fail! And the pilgrimage continues.

And then there is Western Kenya… and its crickets.

When I was told I will be on a tour of Western Kenya for a week I racked my brain as to what I could have done wrong to deserve this excursion to a place I had heard near nothing of! My investigations online bore no solace. I began questioning the ‘Westerners’ that I knew, needless to say I was only made to look forward to flying snakes (I loathe snakes! But flying snakes – obviously not in my direction – I had to see), prayer rocks, alarming cold weather, mosquitoes with unbelievable skill and this place called Rondo. How exciting!

Then the day came, packed like I am never coming back, well equipped to survive a snow storm, and the obvious excitement that comes with trips, away we went.

Then I slept (I happen to have a thing for sleeping when being driven, I’m a kidnappers’ dream client! I’ll cause very little trouble).

Okay then, first stop the view point, I continue sleeping (okay really if you haven’t been to the view point, refer to my fist paragraph, fuel your car and enlighten yourself, there is only so much I can teach you about this country yet this place is just minutes away from Nairobi.)

Then another view point (This one I didn’t see as I was sound asleep, apparently my colleagues even stopped and ate. How rude!).

I then woke up to the most beautiful scenery of a sunset falling behind the greenest fields and hills, facing a beautiful hotel. That was Bogoria Spa resort.

Sunset as seen from the Lake Bogoria Spa Resort/ ANITA NDERU
Sunset as seen from the Bogoria Spa Resort/ ANITA NDERU

After sneaking past the guards with my Del Monte (no drinks from outside allowed) we checked in, the cottages and rooms were everything! A peek into their mini fridges explained why my Del Monte was so illegal; of course they already had it. Their mini bars prices can encourage alcoholism that is as skilful as the mosquitoes I was warned about!

Split screen of the bedroom and bathroom at the Bogoria Spa Resort/ ANITA NDERU
Split screen of the bedroom and bathroom at the Bogoria Spa Resort/ ANITA NDERU

Then there is their natural spa which is exactly 37 degrees Celsius fed by a natural spring obviously kept chlorine-free to enhance the natural hot pool spa experience. Just when I was thinking ‘bikini time!’ a half naked man in dreadlocks asked me if he could take me to the nearby bush and show me something. I am a polite lady, I inclined. It was a mind shattering, body blowing experience.

Yes they have bush massages.

Tented massage parlor at Bogoria Spa resort, the alternative for the bush Massage/ ANITA NDERU
Tented massage parlor at Bogoria Spa resort, the alternative for the bush Massage/ ANITA NDERU

There’s also their manyatta lounge that just screams girls’ getaway, cocktails and hate speeches about men. They have a dinning in the bush experience (I knew I smelled something fishy while I was in there) at a  place called the Choma ranch, when we arrived for dinner, voila! The dreadlocked man again, he is also their DJ.

I go to serve my meat, and there he is again, he is also their chef! Wow fellow, you sure like to use your hands! (Okay I’m lying, not a chef, but you must admit it gave some misleading flow to my story) Goodnight.

 

The tented lounge at Bogoria Spa resort/ ANITA NDERU
The tented lounge at Bogoria Spa resort/ ANITA NDERU

Day two we went to the Lake Bogoria national park for obvious reasons, as soon as we parked at the shore, the sight of gorgeous pink flamingos, endless expanse of the lake with the background of green majestic hills shut us up for like five minutes. That really is all I have to say, it leaves you that speechless.

We drove to the side of the lake with the hot water springs, the jets of steam gave me that smoky grand entrance I had been longing for — yet no one noticed so I made lemonade of the situation and got a free facial — selfies later, we were road bound to the next town. More view points along the way, they really are breath taking but we covered that already.

A photograph of the Lake Bogoria and surrounding highlands  as seen during the game drive/ ANITA NDERU
A photograph of the Lake Bogoria and surrounding highlands as seen during the game drive/ ANITA NDERU

We (a number of journalists and Kenya Tourism Board officials) got to Iten at sundown and went to Elagerini Travellers Tented Camp; the air there was/is like nothing I had ever experienced in this heavily polluted, life-expectancy-reducing city! It was cold, fresh and crisp. Felt like it was cleansing me. I wanted to just sit on the grass in a yoga pose and start humming. But dinner was ready and we were many and I am not stupid.

After leading the pack in the chow down (a trait I maintained throughout the trip, my stomach knows no shame) we visited the tented rooms. It was dark and my smart phones flash went dark too, but the dim lighting should give you an idea of how crazy the ambience in there is.

the double room at Elagerini travelers tented camp in Iten/ ANITA NDERU
the double room at Elagerini travelers tented camp in Iten/ ANITA NDERU

Then hello Eldoret! That is my home town! Tune in for a continuation of #AnitasRoadtoWestern

 

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