Lost? Seven Tips to Survive The Wild

The trek, hiking and camping culture(s) are fast growing among the Kenyan adventurers. Every weekend there is a team heading out to an adventure at one place or other. The trails ventured are usually forests, ranges, moorlands and sometimes valleys with tough terrain and heavy vegetation cover.

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Whether you are an ardent or beginner hiker, getting lost can be a reality and what you do after will determine if you survive and how fast you can be found

In October 2016 a pack of four adventurers wandered away from the main hiking group as they hiked the Aberdare forest. They were found two days later after a rigorous rescue mission that involved the Kenya Police, Kenya Wildlife Service and a search party of about fifty locals.

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The dense Aberdare Forest

Have you ever asked yourself how it would feel to be lost in the wild? What would you do? How would you be safe from the wild animals? Do you think you would be able to survive?

Although all this might sound a little far-fetched, and very unlikely to happen; we still thought it wise to share some tips that would help you stay alive and heighten your chances of being found;

1. Inform family or friends of your intended trek or hike It is highly advisable to leave a map of where you intend to quench your adventure thirst, as well as the itinerary clearly showing the intended departure and return dates. Most trek/ hike areas in Africa do not have phone coverage. The coordinates on the map would therefore come in handy in establishing the estimated area you should be in, in the event you get lost or injured.

Lost

Lost? What would you do?

2. Travel in even numbered groups. Large groups on a trek may be a handful for the guides. They should be divided into smaller numbers easily manageable by the guides. Groups of four are better than three. If someone gets hurt two members of the group can go look for assistance, while the remaining member can stay with the injured person to help with first aid and emotional support.

3. Stay where you are  when lost, panic can make one wander even further into the wild. Wandering especially in the dark could result in injury as visibility is low and the terrain may be foreign to you. What you should note is that staying at one spot increases the chances of you being found. You can consciously scout the surrounding area for resources like water, but be keen to return to ‘point zero’ every so often.  Help is likely to find you here, more than anywhere else.

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Going away on a trek? Inform family or friends of your intended route

4. Signal distress as soon as you are injured or realize you are lost, the first thing you should do is to signal your distress to anyone that may be in the vicinity. Shout, blow your whistle, or do anything that would attract attention as long as it doesn’t result to further injury or waste of much needed energy. Note: the international distress call is three bursts of a whistle in quick succession. 

You can also You can also seek high ground where you can light a fire using wet twigs to produce smoke thick enough to be noticed by a search party miles away from you, or a search plane hovering overhead. It is also recommended to carry or wear bright colored clothes as these can used to wave for help.

Stay on Higher Ground

Signaling distress from a high ground may increase the chances of a search party picking out your location

5. Save your drinking water. Water is high priority in survival situations. Always remember this when planning for your treks, hiking or camping adventures. One can survive weeks without food, but only a maximum of three days without water! So, save it the best way you can. It is advisable to avoid exposure to the hot sun as this may result to high levels of dehydration. In desperate times, you can also collect dew off plants in the morning to quench your thirst.

6. Light a fire. As the darkness creeps in, the temperatures are bound to drop. It is therefore important to build a fire before if gets too dark. The fire will come in handy in keeping you warm, warding off any wild animals that may be in the area, and it can also act as a signal to a search party that maybe looking for you. Make sure that you start by clearing a circular spot, protect it with rocks (if possible) to make sure that the fire does not spread unnecessarily.

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Think Positive!

7. Think positive.  Do not panic is the paramount rule in the event that you are lost in the wild. No matter how grave the situation may seem, keep your mind clear and stay positive! Sing, or scream (if you must) to stay calm. Keeping the right frame of mind ensures that you are alert, and can positively respond to stress. There’s always something you can do to help yourself.

If things go wrong as they sometimes can, always remember you can take back control of the situation if you can take control of your mind!

 

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Happy New Year, Beach!

“I love this beach!”

That is what he said before he proceeded to do crazy back flips on her. He eventually stopped from exhaustion, and a glint of immense excitement seemed to have permanently patched on his face. He sipped his beer as his chest heaved heavily. He proceeded to dance on her. There was no guessing how much fun he was having with her! Like many before him, she had him in her grip. She of enchanting beauty and from a lineage of exquisite world renowned beaches, played host to us on new year’s eve. Her name is Kendwa beach!

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I loved Zanzibar!

A week before we left Nairobi, I had a meeting with Mukhtar The Head Adventurer at Bunduz. Typical of his meticulous self, he took me through every detail of the 10 day road trip from Nairobi to Zanzibar and back. He mapped out the route we would use and the hotels we would stay in. I had to give it up to him on his knowledge of adventure trails and how he leaves nothing to chance in his planning. I however blame him for not warning us of how much fun we would have on this round road trip that would see us leave Nairobi, go through Arusha, Dare-salaam and on to Zanzibar, before proceeding to Diani, and eventually back to Nairobi.

Arif Huseein and Mukhtar Sidi of Bunduz confer at the Namanga border

Arif Husein and Mukhtar Sidi of Bunduz confer at the Namanga border

Adventure is part of me, I love it and I preach it. I can tell when one is getting a raw deal and when it is worth every dime. This year’s end of year road trip was one of a difference. How you know that a company is mature in it’s trade, is by the options it offers it’s clients. Bunduz definitely did impress me on this one. They have moved away from the traditional way of delivering an adventure package where everyone is bundled into a truck or a van and driven off to the set destination. Bunduz set out the adventure route and gave the adventurers a choice of the activities they wanted to take part in, and on how they wanted to travel. They had the options of the overland truck, land-cruisers and a package for motorbike enthusiasts who wanted to soak in all the fun with wind blowing in their hair 🙂 Talk of diversity!

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All set to leave Nairobi for the 10 day, action packed road trip!

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Adventurers inside the Bunduz overland truck

When we started writing on adventure, only a few Kenyans were interested. Going by the numbers that signed up this time, I can confidently say that the culture of adventure is fast growing among Kenyans of all ages!

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Riders couldn’t help but silently admire the overland truck

From scenic foreign towns, to pristine beaches offering an escape from the busy city life, to those action-packed with thrilling water sports, parties and adventure; there was plenty of options for anyone looking to spend the end of year in style!

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A beautiful road from Nairobi on our way to Arusha

One border, 273Km later we were at the base of the volcanic Mt. Meru in the northern Tanzanian town of Arusha. The cosmopolitan town which acts as a tourists center for those on expeditions to Mt. Kilimanjaro, the Serengeti, as well as Ngorongoro had loads to offer. Adventurers were informed of the activities available for the next day as they enjoyed dinner. Later that night we sampled the town’s night life. I will not divulge into that, but the beat complemented the drinks and inspired the moves! Arusha dance. (video)

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Arusha, here we come!

Early the next morning, some of the adventurers set out on a game drive and tour of the world renowned Ngorongoro Conservation Area which lies 180Km West of Arusha. This crater being one of the world’s most unchanged wildlife sanctuaries, boasts of unparalleled beauty. Some of the adventurers opted to explore the town of Arusha. I personally opted to visit a crafts project named Shanga that employs more than 55 physically challenged artists to produce high quality and unique handmade jewelry, glassware and decorative paintings from recycled material. The passion that those at Shanga put in their work can be felt as one takes a guided tour through the establishment. It is a landmark of the African resilience and will to win, despite the odds. It was started by one Saskia Rechsteiner back in 2007.

Meet Moshi, an artist who paints a personalized board of wildlife caricatures as you wait or enjoy lunch at Shanga

Meet Moshi, an artist who paints a personalized board of wildlife caricatures as you wait or enjoy lunch at Shanga

Adventurers shopping at the Shanga shop

Adventurers shopping at the Shanga shop

We also had the pleasure of visiting the little known Lake Duluti. The crater in which it is formed is a subsidiary vent of the Mt. Meru which towers 4,566m over the tranquil lake. The lake has water all year round. It is rumoured that Arusha plans to utilize the water to supply the entire town! The thick forest around the lake is habitat to snakes, monitor lizards, and a large number birds that can be heard chirping from the papyrus reeds.

The little known Lake Duluti, which is only 20 minute away from Arusha town

The little known Lake Duluti, which is only 20 minute away from Arusha town

From a Arusha, we hit a 600km stretch of good road into the former Tanzania’s capital of Dar es Salaam. On our way, we drove along the imposing Usambara Ranges. I couldn’t help but wonder how it would feel to clamber up the rocky faces of the range. Daar es Salaam, the city that grew from a small fishing village now stands beautiful and proud in its humble splendor. It is easy to notice that efforts have been put in place to give this city some order. I was pleasantly impressed by the organized bus system which has seen some roads set aside for use by the blue city buses and no other vehicles. The buses ply the city on an effective time schedule ferrying passengers who no longer have to carry cash, but an automated fare card to board the bus!

The imposing and beautiful Usamabara Ranges

The imposing and beautiful Usamabara Ranges

A short break while covering the several hundred miles to Dar es Salaam

A short break while covering the several hundred miles to Dar es Salaam

A peek from my hotel room in Dar. Notice the blue bus at the bottom.

A peek from my hotel room in Dar. Notice the blue bus at the bottom.

Dar es Salaam felt like being underneath a dump blanket inside a furnace! It was very hot and humid. The most conservative of dressers, found it difficult to stay covered up. Even when it drizzled like it did on our night of arrival, I couldn’t dress in more than just a vest and a pair of light cargo shorts.

Happy adventurers on our way to Dar!

Happy adventurers on our way to Dar!

By this time, all the adventurers knew each other and those of similar exploring interests had naturally gravitated to each other. As you walked down the hotel corridors or dug away at your meal in the restaurant, It was common place to hear murmurs of the activities people were looking forward to undertake in Zanzibar. After one night in Dar, we were on our way to Zanzibar which was to be the epitome of this tour!

It was a two hour ferry ride to Zazibar

The beautiful Dar es Salaam skyline from aboard the ferry to Zanzibar (video)

Bunduz made sure that we traveled in class to Zanzibar. A seat in the the clean, air conditioned, multi-decked ferry dubbed Kilimanjaro VI was a saviour from the coastal town heat. The engines roared, as passengers shuffled down the aisle to board the ultra-modern vessel. An announcement and a departure honk later, the Dar es Salaam beautiful shoreline was fast drawing away from us as the vessel gracefully tore through the Indian Ocean waves. The mood on the ferry was alive and celebratory. Cheerful murmurs were audible as travelers chatted away. I opted to travel on the top deck taking in the view of the turquoise blue water and enjoying the breeze. Some travelers cupped their faces in their palms clearly afraid of sea travel, clutching onto their sick bags just in case their breakfast opted out, others pointed and clicked their cameras randomly in all the directions of the compass, while others plugged in their earphones and hummed to tunes totally oblivious or uninterested of where we were. We were soon out in the open blue sea, no land and no other vessels in sight other than the occasional fishing boat which seemed so tiny and appeared like pins on a giant blue pin cushion. Two hours later, we docked in Zanzibar and the 25$ ferry trip felt worth every dime!

Aboard Kilimanjaro VI, heading to Zanzibar

Aboard Kilimanjaro VI, heading to Zanzibar

A ferry leaving Dar for Zanzibar

A ferry leaving Dar for Zanzibar

Karibu Zanzibar!

Karibu Zanzibar!

Beautiful Zanzibar shoreline!

Beautiful Zanzibar shoreline! (vid)

Zanzibar is a laid back country that is also quite strict about maintaining and conserving its environment in the most natural state. On arrival, the customs officers who stamped our passports on entry also checked our luggage for any polythene bags as they are not allowed into the country. I always find it very encouraging when a country takes its environment seriously. While in Zanzibar, I felt silly to have thought Dar es Salaam was hot! This was the epi-center of the heat!

This was to be home for next couple of days!

This was to be home for next couple of days!

Zanzibar is a bucket list destination for most if not all world travelers! The number of activities and places available to visit left us wishing we had more time in this semi-autonomous part of Tanzania. A tour of the stone town with its Arab traders footprint of narrow streets, minarets and artistically carved doorways takes one back back to the history rich 18th century. For the strong at heart, a tour of the slave chambers can be taken. Seeing the chains and the poor conditions the slaves were held in after capture and before they were taken to the market for auctioning. Some of the adventurers took a tour through the spice island where they were shown the plants from which various spices are made from. The most sought after spices on this tour happen to be ginger and nutmeg, I would love to tell you why, but I would like more if you got to hear it from the horse’s mouth when you take the spice tour 🙂

Happy to have taken the spice tour

Happy to have taken the spice tour. by D.Kola

Chains in the slave chmabers

Chains in the slave chambers. By Steven Kim

Our stay in Zanzibar would not have been complete without an excursion out in the sea aboard a dhow. We took a day tour of the Mnemba Island and its marine life rich surroundings. The clear blue water allowed one to see the little dunes formed by waves on the white sand at the bottom of the sea. It was not strange to catch a glimpse of a solitude fish or shoal of them swimming and minding their own business. It looked so easy do, and we were here to experience the marine life, be at one with the creatures of sea. However, due to our human limitations in water, we had to settle for snorkeling. Others who have more endurance and experience in the water opted to scuba dive. Our vessel of choice was dubbed the Seafari and our Captain ‘Eddie Murphy’. 🙂

Boarding Seafari for a day excursion to Mnemba Island

Boarding Seafari for a day excursion to Mnemba Island

Our Captain 'Eddie Murphy' gives us a brief before departure

Our Captain ‘Eddie Murphy’ gives us a brief before departure

A young adventurer all set to snorkel

A young adventurer all set to snorkel

Zanzibar is a diver's heaven!

Zanzibar is a diver’s heaven!

Let's go, flipper!

Let’s go, flipper!

Beauty out at sea in Zanzibar

Beauty out at sea in Zanzibar

We later traveled to the Nungwi area of Zanzibar to Kendwa beach where the ultimate jump off party was set to be held. All the roads led to Kendwa Rocks, an establishment that holds an electric new years party, year in year out. The popularity of this party was evident from the number of people that thronged the beach. There were revelers from Kenya, South Africa and other parts of the world! The ladies dressed to impress and the fellows spent to make a ‘kill’ 😉 The loud music tore through the air and people danced the night away. I took a walk to the beach and it was refreshing to see couples sitting in the sand, sharing bottles of wine as they waited to usher in the new year watching the lazy waves break on the white sandy shore. 5… 4… 3… 2…1.. the crowd counted, and at the strike of midnight we were treated to a spectacular fireworks show! “Happy New Year!” Everybody shouted as they jumped around in joy! As I sipped my chilled beer underneath the velvety star studded sky, I prayed that this energy and beauty would carry on through out 2017!

Beach party at Kendwa Rocks, Zanzibar!

Beach party at Kendwa Rocks, Zanzibar!

Happy New Year!!!!

Happy New Year!!!! (video)

As if seeking to overdose on beach therapy, we left Zanzibar, made a slight stopover in Dar es Salaam before heading out to the Kenyan South Coast by road. Our next stop was Diani beach! On the scenic route down from Dar to Tanga and through the Lunga Lunga border I could see adventurers going through the photographs they had taken in Zanzibar, and recapping on the escapades they had at Kendwa.

A beautiful diversion off the main highway in Tanzania, cut to allow road recarpeting

A beautiful diversion off the main highway in Tanzania, cut to allow road repair works

We arrived in Diani, Kenya a few hours into the night. Not much could be done as most of us were tired from the day’s journey and some were looking forward to undertaking more action packed activities on the next day. After dinner, some retired early while others opted to experience what the Diani nightlife had to offer. Early the next day, a bunch of us left for a day excursion at the Wasini area of South Coast. The trip saw them go to the unspoiled Kisite Mpunguti marine park which lies in the coral gardens, protects marine life and acts as a breeding ground for migratory birds. As was witnessed in this occasion, it is not rare to spot a school of dolphins swimming and sometimes playing in a way to enchant the visitors to this part of the Indian Ocean!

Understandably, some of the adventurers opted to rest in at the beautiful hotel (Amani Tiwi Beach Resort) where we were putting up. Walking the long white beach, relaxing in the beautiful swimming pool and sipping cocktails from the pool bar, or pampering self at the hotel’s spa were some of the activities they opted to indulge in.

Cheers from the pool bar! Amani Tiwi Beach Resort

Cheers from the pool bar! Amani Tiwi Beach Resort

Amani Tiwi Beach Resort, a true gm on the Kenyan South Coast!

Amani Tiwi Beach Resort, a true gm on the Kenyan South Coast!

The culmination of this tour was by some adrenaline junkies who found it fit to jump 15,000ft out of a perfectly well running plane flown by a sober and able pilot! The Diani Skydive is the company of ‘crazies’ that has people scrambling for a chance to take on this fear-conquering feat. It was difficult to actually get a slot at this time of year. Bunduz had to call Diani Skydive in advance to book the slots! We were greeted by an air of busy fellows and ladies, all in easy wear branded in their company colours. One guy was on his laptop working on the videos of those that had jumped earlier in the day, another was on his hand held radio coordinating the jumps, while another lady welcomed us to the lounge area. Despite them being busy, it was clear that they all enjoyed what they do! Kudos Diani Sky Dive!

Adventurers getting instructions on the best position to enjoy a tandem jump fully

Adventurers getting instructions on the best position to enjoy a tandem jump fully

The jumpers were advised to maintain a ‘happy-banana’ pose and cooperate with their tandem jump instructors to avoid a bumpy or rough free fall from the sky. After the short introduction session, the jumpers were strapped to their skydive gear and off they were whisked to a nearby airstrip for the take off.

Gear on, brave faces on and ready to skydive!

Gear on, brave faces on and ready to skydive!

A mother and two daughters took on the skydive challenge by the horns!

The adventurous Alulu Zain  and her two daughters took on the skydive challenge by the horns!

On the beach, other adventurers had an awesome time relaxing and enjoying the beautiful scenery as they waited to cheer those that were landing from the skydiving. A large T shaped mark made from red cloth was on the beach to guide the jumpers on where to land their parachutes. After a short while they started appearing in the sky as minute objects falling, and eventually open parachutes were visible slowly gliding through the humid air to the beach below.

A landing straight on the red mark!

A landing straight on the red mark!

The ten days action packed road trip that saw us travel extensively through Kenya, Tanzania and Zanzibar was now coming to an end. The spirits were high and I knew we had all made a good decision to start the year with such a bang! As has been custom and typical of the Bunduz crew, this was another exhilarating, well organized and fun filled adventure! It is a little early in the year, but I would be lying if I said I am not already looking forward to the next Bunduz adventure plan, which should be going down soon! I will certainly keep you posted.. 🙂

Adios from the pack of adventurers that rocked the 10 days Bunduz road trip 2016/2017!

Adios from the pack of adventurers that rocked the 10 days Bunduz road trip 2016/2017!

Adventure: 10 days Road Trip; Nairobi – Arusha – Dar es Salaam – Zanzibar – Dar es Salaam – Diani – Nairobi

Distance Covered: Approximately 2,200km

Organizer: Bunduz, Mukhtar Sidi

Documentary & Photography by: Macharia Njuguna

Some Places To Stay: Venus Premier Hotel (Arusha), RainBow Hotel (Dar es Salaam), Zanzibar Beach Resort (Zanzibar), Amani Tiwi Beach Resort (Diani, Kenya)

High Adrenaline Triathlon.. The Forest!

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The Forest; an adventure park within Kereita Forest!

What would be the ideal way to spend a Sunday? If your answer is anywhere between, sleeping in, watching movies or enjoying a whiskey while barbecuing with friends, (which simply translates to couch ‘potating’), then this article is meant for you! I am not judging, but I think you seriously need a Bunduz in your life. Allow me to show you why 😉

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The Bunduz team, all set to have fun at The Forest’s inaugural Triathlon competition (2016)

If you would avoid the party on a fine Saturday night so that you are up early on a Sunday morning, ready to take part in an adventure triathlon at a location 30km away from Nairobi and 2,000m above sea level, then this article is not for you because you already know that nothing beats spending an expendable minute while high on adrenaline!

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The map that each team tried to beat in the best time.

I was honoured to be the Bunduz triathlon team Captain. Just as the adventure tours that Bunduz organizes, we decided that our competition ethos would be to do our best in the allocated tasks, but also make sure that we have great fun while at it!

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Our team trick was simple; Stay safe, have fun, endure the trail and have more fun!

If whenever you are handed a disclaimer form to sign, your heart starts to pump with excitement in anticipation of the ‘danger’ ahead, then you are a true blue adventurer and everything Bunduz resonates with you!

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Yes, we signed the disclaimer forms and got instructions on the dos and don’ts of the triathlon trail.

The Forest is a new adventure park that has opened it’s doors in the hinter-lands of Kenya with an aim to interest local and international tourists in locations that have hardly been explored, unlike the coastal beaches and our world renowned national parks!

The Bunduz team was taken through all the safety measures to observe while undertaking two of the sort of technical sports in the triathlon. These are; zip lining and archery. The speed and caution with which the safety team at The Forest operated, gave us confidence that they understood what they were doing. A few rehearsal slides and arrow shots later we were ready to hit the trail!

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Alternative adventure is what The Forest offers!

The first activity was the zip lining! The Forest boasts one of the longest zip lines in Africa, and is ranked among the safest in the world. Armed with all the safety advise, what you are never warned about is how fast you are forward propelled on the zip line! Zooming through the light high altitude thin air, listening to the humming vibrations of the zip, one loses themselves in the picturesque bird-eye view of Keriata Forest, dangling at almost 100m off the ground. The feeling is exhilarating!

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Of utmost importance is paying attention to the Zip line crew instruction to apply the palm brake to reduce speed before landing.

You cannot be told how difficult it is to tear into a sprint, at an altitude of about 2,000m above sea level, right after a 2.4km heart sinking zip line ride. You need to try it! On landing, each team member had to run up a steep hillside trail to get to the station with all the heavy safety harnesses on!

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Running up a steep hillside, to the next competition station right after zip lining.

At this point, a majority of teams had lost some time. Particularly those with skinny zip-liners like ours :-). Being feather-weight does not only have disadvantages on the boxing ring, but on the zip line too! It sometimes means that one cannot propel themselves to the end of the zip line course and therefore have to turn backwards at a 180 degrees angle and pull self to the end and losing precious time. The next activity afforded each team to salvage time lost depending  on how good at archery the team members were. Hitting the bull’s eye saved any team a whopping 60 seconds!

The Forest sought to teach the competitors about Kereita forest ad the community around it through a quiz that each team had to undertake while racing to do the best time on the trail. The questions ranged from what KFS stands for, to exercises that required identifying particular flora ad fauna species as well as acknowledging the wildlife that habitat in the very forest!

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Competitors had to climb up a tall Cyprus tree and ring a bell at its pinnacle before proceeding to the next activity!

We had to run, balancing long logs on the ground and others suspended in the air, maneuver a military kind of assault course before we could move on to the next activity. Touching ground meant having to repeat the entire course and spending more time to complete the triathlon which would amount to losing.

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We mountain biked on a well marked 1km trail that was full of surprises!

The well maintained mountain bikes made it fun riding through the set trail. The terrain was full of surprises, but I remember my cyclist friend (Vincent Mulama) who once told me that whenever you enjoy a steep descent while cycling, do it as you prepare self to suffer an ascent! The twists and turns on the dusty trail were a mixture of pleasure and pain. At this point, most adventurers were tired and had no idea of the hill that awaited them at the end of the trail. It was not uncommon to see competitors pushing their bikes up the hill to the finish line.

 

 

Endurance is patience concentrated, and that is exactly what team Bunduz exercised to the end of the race! Mingling directly with unadulterated nature while testing my physical limits is an experience that I cannot trade for anything else. Adventure has a way of making us know ourselves and those around us better, therefore handing us an opportunity to live life in a realm of deeper understanding and spiritual awareness.

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Take on fear by the horns, and endeavour to see what lies past it; only then can you say you live a limitless life! Team Bunduz!

So the next time you have time in your hands, you will still have the options of lazying around, indulging in unhealthy past times, or strapping on your boots and taking on a challenging, character building adventure! If your choice is the latter, you know whom to call; Bunduz.

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Mingling directly with unadulterated nature while testing my physical limits is an experience that I cannot trade for anything else.

This was a Sunday well spent! The adventure logistics were organized and executed by the able team sponsor Bunduz. You can catch the next big adventure in the offing come December 2016! If you are an adventurer with a knack for exploring new places, experiencing other cultures and partying some while at it, then look no more. Heed to the ocean call and book your slot in the Zanzibar Trip of The Year!

 

Location: The Forest (Kereita Forest)

Distance: About 55.5km from Nairobi

Activities: Mountain Biking, Zip Lining, Archery, Nature Trail Walks

Documentary by: Macharia Njuguna

Adventure Sponsor: Bunduz

Next planned Adventure: Zanzibar Trip of The Year (Dec 2016)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Run Wild; Lewa Marathon 2016

“I have been running 26km every week since March, in readiness for this marathon! Grueling is what the terrain was, and the sweltering heat didn’t make it any easier; thank heavens for the misting stations along the trail! I am tired to the bone, but hey, it’s all for a good cause!” Said Fred after finishing the Run Wild Run For The Wild 2016 Lewa Marathon.

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On the road from Nairobi, I traveled with a bunch of happy, singing Hashers all set to take part in a marathon that has made it to the world’s list of top ten ‘must do’ marathons. The Lewa Marathon is revered in the world of runners as one of the toughest marathons in the world! Knowing this, I figured that the pomp and dance the Hashers had was something in the lines of a war-dance conjured to imply courage as they forged forward to the war; The 2016 Lewa Marathon!

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There’s never a dull day in the Hash House Harriers movement!

Commitment to conservation of wildlife and its habitat in Kenya was hallmarked as the Lewa Marathon marked it’s 17th Anniversary; this time hosting over 1300 participants drawn from 28 countries all over the world. A growth in leaps and bounds from the 150 participants the marathon hosted in 2000, the inaugural year.

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The Safaricom Lewa Marathon is one of the major sporting events in Kenya and in the circles of runners all around the world. The energy of the event and its participants was almost tangible! As early as the first bird chirped to wake the world, runners could be seen pacing up and down their camps as they warmed up their muscles prior to the marathon. There are those that were to run the half marathon (21km) and the elite runners who would cover enter trail of the full marathon (42km).

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Early morning as the runners sponsored by MMC Africa Law get ready for the marathon

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The energy of the event and its participants was almost tangible!

The Lewa Marathon gave the spectators as well as the runners the exciting possibility of encountering wildlife on the trail. The picturesque landscapes were enthralling like snippets straight out of a Disney film! Like the proverbial bite and blow from a rat, I assumed the marathon was treacherous for the runners and the natural beauty of the Lewa conservancy was the reliever.

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Spectators were treated to picturesque landscapes as they cheered runners in the Lewa Marathon

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An ostrich stands vigilant at the Lewa Conservancy

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Mama rhino and child, out for a morning snack at Lewa

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Striped beauty of the zebra stands out in the Lewa plains

 

Young and old runners gave their best and pushed hard! Every pant, muscle cramp and foot sore being their symbol  of commitment to the spirit of wildlife conservation. Through the undulating dirt tracks cutting through the breathtaking Lewa Conservancy, runners sweat it out, with some running strong and others shuffling their feet with an aim to make it to the next water-point and eventually to the finish line.

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John Ruengo pushing hard. At 86 he is the oldest Kenyan marathoner.

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All terrain vehicles came in handy while moving from spectator point to the next

As I moved from one spectator point to the next, I was glad to have met one of the child competitors in the Lewa Marathon. The kids take part in a 5km race and are awarded medals on completion of the set distance.

“What is your name?” I asked the shy boy walking towards me with a medal dangling around his neck.

“Moses.” he replied in shaky voice. “I see you finished the race. What position were you?” I inquired.

“I don’t know. I am so tired, but happy that I got a medal.”

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Meet Moses. One of the finishers in the 5km Children’s race at the Lewa Marathon.

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Some ran strong while others shuffled on to the finish line

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Determination was written allover her face

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I will keep going, no giving up!

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Effective cooling; A runner goes though the misting station!

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A determined runner goes past other marathoners at the Lewa Marathon

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A 2013 Virgin London Marathon Finisher pushing to finish Lewa Marathon 2016

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“I have to keep going,” So James seems to tell himself.

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He entertained spectators as he asked for Tusker at every water-point

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Spectators cheered on the marathoners to the finish line

As Hal Higdon said, The pride in finishing a marathon is much greater than all the pain endured during the marathon! This was evidenced by the celebration from the various teams, after a grueling day on the trail. Closest to me was the team sponsored by  MMC Africa Law. After a few hours of cooling their heels at the Bunduz camp, it was back to party time!

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Finished the marathon, and had no energy to show off the medal

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Oh yes, we finished!

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The MMC Africa Law team celebrates after the Lewa Marathon 2016

I believe that many a runner will agree with me in saying that, Finishing a marathon is a state of mind that says anything is possible! To the runners in the Run Wild Lewa Marathon, the organizers, the sponsors of the various teams in the marathon, the journalists covering the event, the entertainers and the ever so kind spectators handing bottles of water and energy bars to the runners, we finished the marathon!

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Finishing a marathon is a state of mind that says anything is possible!

 

Important Info:

Event: Safaricom Lewa Marathon 2016

Location: Lewa Wildlife Conservancy, Isiolo

Distance: 254km from Nairobi

Pictures & Documentary: Macharia Njuguna

Trip and Camp Organizer: Bunduz (Mukhtar Sidi)

 

On The Rocks.. (Rhino Charge 2016)

On the rocks is how I wanted my drink served after a long day out chasing after charge cars. On the rocks is where every competitor and spectator that made it to the Gauntlet found themselves. On the rocks is where I found my relationship with Safaricom degenerate to when I found out that the gauntlet was their guard-post, yet there was no network coverage!

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On the rocks at the Rhino Charge 2016 gauntlet!

“Should you ever go to your village and not connect to your Safaricom line, this is the guy to call.” That is how I had been introduced (on the eve of the charge) to the signal guru that Safaricom had dispatched to the Rhino Charge 2016 venue. As I paced up and down the gauntlet, I couldn’t help but wonder where and how he had lost his mojo. I later met him and he explained  in an embarrassed mumble, from underneath a Safaricom branded cap that; it was difficult to get network coverage at the gauntlet because it was smack in the middle of a depression. I walked away and stripped him of the title guru in four steps; a letter down with each step.

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Communication satellites at Longonot on our way to Rhino Charge 2016

Rhino Charge 2016 was set in the vast and picturesque Narok County, the home of the world renowned wildlife reserve; Masai Mara! As we drove there aboard Ki-Pumpum, I wondered what adventure the charge had in store for us this time around. Would I be able to get good shots? Is the terrain taunting enough for me to maybe get a shot of a charge vehicle toppling over several times and back on it’s four wheels? Would I be in a position to visit most guard-posts and spy on charge vehicles as they tore ravenously through the thick bush in a bid to win the top prize? I had to wait until the charge day to find out.

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Bunduz adventurers relaxing on arrival at the venue. Ki-Pumpum rests in the background.

For the past 27 years, why does a group of people get out into the wild to find a new trail where millions of shillings are torn away in the form of all-terrain vehicles that maneuver a 12 point circuit spreading over approximately 100km, in a duration of 10 hours? One would wonder. Year in, year out, why do spectators throng the often harsh environment to witness embellished vehicles clamor over rocks and tear through bush while driven by enthusiastically calculative crews that stop at nothing unless their vehicle is reduced to a heap of junk metal? As I retired to my safari chair right by the Bunduz camp bonfire, I watched spectators share their tales from the charge day that had just ended. As we braved the cold dark night of the Masia Mara, I quietly scrolled through the shots I had taken, and that’s when it all dawned on me; the spirit of the Rhino Charge is one charged with the resilience of a people committed to the conservation of the Kenyan wildlife, nature and catchment areas through the protection of mountain echo-systems. The spirit of the Rhino Charge will stop at nothing to see that conservation is upheld!

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No Bush Too Thick! No obstacle will stop the spirit of Rhino Charge

This year, the Rhino Charge raised Kshs. 139,000,000.00 for the Rhino Ark and Kshs. 4,400,000/- for the host community! Of note is that the top two fundraisers were indigenous Kenyan teams. Team Magnate Chargers and Car #23, led by Stanley Kinyanjui and Peter Kinyua respectively. In celebration of the success that Rhino Charge 2016 was, I made sure to bring you some shots of the action… 🙂

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Spectators follow the Rhino Charge from a vantage point

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Spectators look on as Car #36 clamors over a rock

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Rev up that rock!

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A runner leads Car # 42 out of a thicket

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A Masai Moran adorns Peter Kenneth a spectator in traditional regalia

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As they pondered the best route down

 

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The host community loved the show

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A Rhino Ark official looks on as Car # 40 maneuvers a rock

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Let that model pose not fool you. The ladies driving Car #19 had super skills!

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No lugga too deep!

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A spectator engrossed in the action packed gauntlet

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Through it all, and stopping at nothing!

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Just a scratch, let’s push on!

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There is only one way down this rock!

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A contortionist of a vehicle! SimTank #TeamChomz

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Team Frying Squad had spider looking modified vehicle

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Off to the next guard-post

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Go straight through that bush!

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Hang on, can I find a better route?

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Team mates hang on the side to stabilize Car #40 as they leave the gauntlet

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This is the winner of Rhino Charge 2016!

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Car #62 was the highest fundraiser towards Rhino Ark. They raised Kshs. 14,500,000.00

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Car #23 driven by Peter Kinyua raised Kshs. 11,000,000.00 towards the conservation efforts of Rhino Ark

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From the full adventure cooler box Stronger Simtank, refreshments flowed freely as spectators enjoyed.

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A charge car leaves the venue. It was time to say goodbye.

~MASH~

7 High Adrenaline Adventures in Kenya

I have always found myself drawn to adventures that have high adrenaline activities tucked somewhere in the itinerary. In my recent travel escapades, I have noted that activities once tagged as a preserve for the daring are now a staple sought by many a traveler!

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Some take part in these activities to pursue that rush that leaves a soul feeling indomitable (albeit for a few hours), others do it to earn bragging rights among their peers, while others truly seek that spiritual angle of being one with nature while in a solo stand of defiance; more like the dance battle some animals indulge in prior to a steamy session of passion!

Whatever your reason to seek out these high adrenaline activities are; I hereby give you a list of the seven must do activities (in Kenya) to leave your heart with a drum-thump of a pump!

# 1 SKYDIVING

Get into a noisy cessna 206 plane with no door, hit heights of up to 12,000ft and jump out! Show me madness if this is not it! Leaping from these dizzying heights is certainly not for the faint at heart. The ‘lunatics’ at the Skydive Diani have taken this a notch higher; with oxygen systems installed in the powerful and fast bird that tears through the hot and humid Diani air at ease, you can now join them in a 22,000ft jump (highest jump ever done in Kenya) and fly through the blue reaching terminal velocity of up to 200km/h in a 55 seconds free fall of pure adrenaline! A smooth parachute landing on the Diani Beach will calm your nerves with the scenic 5,000ft gentle drop back to earth. For only Ksh.35,000/- this is an experience you certainly don’t wonna miss!

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#2 PARAGLIDING

You know you are an adrenaline junkie if soaring high like a bird soaking in the picturesque scenery below ever made it to any of your day dreams! Dream no more, head out to Kerio Valley and make this a reality! Jumping off high hillsides or cliffs and setting out into a flight high above the earth is a lifetime experience worth taking. With no age restriction, no prior training or experience required, Paraglide Kenya  can tailor-make a flight for you. For the sane nature lovers, a gentle scenic flight would be in order while for the ‘nutters’ seeking the rush, an adrenaline-filled joy ride would be the best serving. For only Ksh.8,000.00 be a bird high up in the sky for 15-20min!

Paraglide (Kenya)

# 3. BUNGEE JUMPING

Until you have climbed up the 60 meter steel structure with the sole intention of jumping off it’s edge and down towards the torrential Tana River, then you cannot quite call yourself an adrenaline junkie! As you climb up to bungee, the wind blows against you as if in a torment to measure your determination to jump. 220 steps later, you are at the top and in the jump cage. Your view below is that of Sagana, the Tana River and the farm lands on its banks. Observing the highest standards of safety your upper body is harnessed and an elastic chord is tied around your feet. As soon as you assume the ‘Jesus position’, you are ready to bungee!  3,2, 1… and off you leap! Some say they feel their heart float, while others say they feel it in their mouths during the free fall until the bungee rope kicks in. For as little as Ksh.5,000.00 find out what you will record as your experience!

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#4. WHITE WATER RAFTING

Common sense will dictate that we avoid torrential rivers, particularly those with whirling rapids and falls. On the other hand, adventure sense will nudge us to wonder what it feels like to be engulfed in a rapid or tossed down a waterfall as one with the raging water! White water rafting is the white-knuckle adrenaline thrill waiting to serve you this very experience. River Tana provides grade 3- 5 rapids depending on the seasons. Grade 5 rapids are something close to dancing with the devil or step dancing on the edge of a strict cliff! On-board an inflated raft, armed with a sturdy plastic paddle and shielded by a slight helmet and a life jacket, be the warrior that braves the raging waters, the occasional menacing sharp rocks and live to tell the tale. Savage Wilderness will arrange your date with the rapids.

White Water Rafting

#5. JET SKIING

Water in oceanic abundance has a thrill in itself. Swimming has its limitations and may even come-off as not ‘dangerous’ enough for an ardent thrill-seeker. Now imagine riding an agile fast machine in the open ocean and accelerating from zero to speeds of about 60km/hr in just a matter of seconds! If this has started to sound tantalizing in any way, come out and declare self a daredevil! Jet skiing is your thing! Get down to Mombasa and rent out a jet ski from as little as Ksh. 2,500.00 and zoom off into the vast ocean.

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# 6.  MOTORCROSS

Be it on two wheels or four wheels, nothing beats the feeling of igniting a motorcycle engine, pushing in the clutch, hitting the gear shift into one and letting go of the clutch to set off into motion raising a trail of dust as the monster bike swings into action! Adrenaline rush is almost squarely synonymous with motorcycle riding. Various locations offer exhilarating dirt bike trails. Some trails are demarcated (http://www.chakaranch.com/), while some cockily tear through the wilderness, literally passing among herds of wilder-beasts and giraffes as they forage in the Kenyan grasslands (http://www.lukenyamotorcross.co.ke/) From as little as Ksh. 5,000.00 get onto a buggy or a quad bike and race your friends through the dusty or muddy rough terrain of the unbeaten tracks!

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#7. ZIP LINING   

On a harness attached to a cable (30ft above the ground), you will be propelled by gravity between two points across the Machakos People’s Park! You will have the option of choosing between the 200m or 300m long cable. The speeds vary depending on how you’d like to enjoy your ride. No where else in Kenya will you find a zipline this long, this high and integrated into a truly spectacular park setting. With the buzz of activity below you and depending on how good or evil you are, you just might feel like Santa flying over chimneys on Christmas eve or like a witch flying her broom in the night! Ha ha!

Zipline Machakos(1)

 

~MASH~

Nairobi To Botswana (Overland Tour)

Life on the wild side. Bunduz

Life on the wild side. Bunduz

A wealthy African man who is living in his bonus years wakes up one morning with an urgent need to leave a lasting legacy. In his long life he has observed that Africa has all it needs to be self reliant and still have enough to support the rest of the world if need be. He goes out on  search of young men from each of the fifty four African countries and takes them through a good education with an aim of transforming the African leadership to a strong unified state. The wealthy man is in his sunset years, but he dreams of a beautiful sunrise. One man, one sunrise!

It was while on the 15 days overland tour through 6 African countries that I had a conversation that went something like this with one comical adventurer, with a knack of capturing moments beautifully and philosophizing the state of affairs creatively albeit his topsy-turvy demeanour.

Brian, shows off some shots

Brian, shows off some shots

The planning had been on going for a while, and I was looking forward to the adventure like a freshly trained jockey to his maiden race! The day finally came and we set off on the grand road-trip organized and managed by  Bunduz

Mukhtar of Bunduz briefs the pack of adventurers shortly after departure from Nairobi

Mukhtar of Bunduz briefs the pack of adventurers shortly after departure from Nairobi

The first few days had most of the overland truck occupants pretty much keeping to their own spaces and indulging in their personal past times like reading or even typing away some pending work reports on their laptops. I quietly watched, knowing that soon this would be a hive of activity and an anthill of interaction as the days went by. Fortunately, the overland truck catered for everyone including those that insisted on working as we made our way through the picturesque landscapes of our beautiful land Africa.

The comfortable overland truck allowed work and play :-)

The comfortable Bunduz overland truck allowed space for work and play 🙂

I have taken it upon myself to tell the world that which is little known about Africa in pictures and words, and so my joy could not be hidden when I saw like-minded people whip out cameras (from the professional full frames to the phone cameras) to take shots here and there. I caught myself mid-way through a jubilant somersault while doing a never ending mental calculation of multiples, on how many people would be reached through the various platforms that the photos would be exhibited! We have to show the world the gem that Africa is!

Many photographers were part of the pack! photo by Brian

Many photographers were part of the pack! photo by Brian

Someone once said that, ‘We travel not to escape life, but for life not to escape us.’ The experiences we had on this road-trip are second to no other; loaded with the bush feel of adventure, the high adrenaline of  sport and the general excitement of interacting with other cultures as well as soaking in new scenery. It was an open secret that the epitome of this adventure would be in Livingstone Zambia, but this did not stop the jolly good adventurers from savouring every moment of the journey.

A beautiful hillside jsu past Namanga in Tanzania

A beautiful hillside just past Namanga in Tanzania

An adventurous experience of a different culture is never fully achieved without indulging the culinary skills of a people. So I believe. It should therefore go without saying that we tried the ‘chips-mayai’ of Arusha, Tanzania. A roadside finger-licking fast meal that is prepared from a mixture of deep fried potato wedges, pan fried eggs and meat chunks.

The adventure was on, and it was quite entertaining seeing the pack of adventurers immerse themselves fully into the experience. Everyone’s eyes were riveted on the Bunduz crew as they demonstrated how to pitch and disassemble a tent. Rightfully so, as this was the intended mode of accommodation for the next 15 days. The Tarangire National Park played host to us on this night.

Pay attention; This is how to pitch a tent.

Pay attention; This is how to pitch a tent.

Bright and early we set off for the fort town of Iringa, a journey that ran as smooth as a straight upward burst of a space shuttle. This was to however be short-lived because the recent rains had cut off the short-cut route that our able and experienced overland driver had intended to use. We had to turn back and use a route that ended up making this journey excruciatingly long. We made it to Iringa late in the night, and thanks to the Trip-Captain’s connections and kindness, we found a restaurant with our food ready. The place was ran by a friendly Arab man named Shariff. From how he ran his business, he exuded the nomadic resilience to make things happen from the little available. He ran a restaurant, a bar and a disco right on the same floor where he housed his family. They say, any kindness to a traveller is paid back ten fold and I cannot wish any less for Shariff. He invited our tired selves into his house and made sure each of us go the food they ordered for. All 30 of us!

Adventurers in Shariff's house at Iringa, Tanzania.

Adventurers in Shariff’s house at Iringa, Tanzania.

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A couple picnic on the shores of Lake Singinda in Tanzania

A couple picnic on the shores of Lake Singinda in Tanzania

Malawi is known to draw masses of tourists thanks to it’s vast turquoise clear waters of Lake Malawi. We were welcomed to the sandy beach of Chitimba along the shores of this beautiful lake by a Dutch man of heavy build who ran a camp site right on the beach. This being Christmas day, the adventurers were itching to have a party! This happened right on the beach, under the moonlight, where the waves broke on the shore as though in rhythm with the beats wafting through the humid night air from a Beats by Dre speaker that one of the adventurers had. The drinks flowed and dance moves succeeded each other with every new song. As the party went on, we contemplated driving the Bunduz support landcruiser onto the beach for louder music from its powerful music system. This idea was however quickly quashed when our Dutch host told us a story of some South African fellows who had to spend a whole day digging out their landrover from the beach sand after a similar night of beach partying.

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Chitimba beach in Malawi.

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Merry Christmas! Party in Chitimba.

She had the purity of a virgin, the innocence of a girl well guarded in her upbringing and an inviting dangerous playfulness of a free spirit. After Chitimba beach, she wasn’t done with me. She took me to Kande beach and escalated our newly found relationship to second course with no notification or apprise whatsoever. She let me dive deep into her, engulfed me in her water and let me float in her waves. I couldn’t help it, for she made it so easy to fall in love with her. She had me, (and I believe many others) under her spell. She’s the beautiful Lake Malawi!

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Let’s go snorkelling!

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Negotiating for a canoe ride from a fisherman’s village

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Diving into Lake Malawi!

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Scott the dive instructor at Kande beach was a good-hearted free spirit.

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Some volleyball, anyone?

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Some WiFi on Kande Beach?

 

It was difficult bidding Lake Malawi goodbye, but as is the adventurer’s story of life the journey had to go on. We proceeded to Chipata, arriving on an evening that was seemingly cold unlike most of the journey where the weather had been hot and humid. We camped at Mama Rula, a friendly campsite tucked underneath a rich collection of indigenous trees and that boasted a generously stocked bar draped in flags and jerseys of various rugby teams.

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Pitching tent in Chipata

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The warm bar at Mama Rula campsite

As we proceeded down towards Lusaka, it was evident that now everyone’s mind was set on the high adrenaline activities that awaited us in Livingstone. It was common to hear groups of adventurers discussing how it felt to bungee or cascade down a torrential river in a raft. Most accounts were the creation of their imaginations; I once listened in on a conversation where one lady told another that it is very advisable to answer all calls of nature prior to undertaking a bungee jump lest you paint the town ‘soil’. It sort of made sense, ha ha!

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Luangwa bridge in Zambia

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A busy shopping mall in Lilongwe, Malawi.

We finally made it to Livingstone, a traveller’s town whose charm is irresistible! Her neat streets  give an aura of organization which subtly sell out the fact that she was once a very important town. The kind of aura that people who were once rich give when sitting quietly at a bar corner dressed in well pressed but old suits. Livingstone was once the capital of Northern Rhodesia up until 1935. Her closeness to the mighty Zambezi River, and the world renowned Victoria Falls made her a hub of tourist activity full of life in the vibrant kind of way! We settled at a well manicured camp-site right by the banks of River Zambezi, Victorial Falls Waterfront.

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Victoria Falls Waterfront

The friendly staff of Safari Par Excellence were fast in giving us a presentation on all the high adrenaline activities that we could take part in during our stay in Livingstone. Top amongst the available activities were the bungee jump which is 111m down into the Zambezi gorge, water rafting through the whirling rapids of the Zambezi River, micro-light flights over the picturesque Zambezi gorge and elephant rides. Within no time, all the adventurers had booked whatever activity they felt interested in. I overheard one say that they had not succumbed to the bungee jumpers’ ‘peer-pressure’ and quietly deduced that they were too scared to make that leap but had to find a non-fear-exposing way of saying it.

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The last sunset of 2015 over river Zambezi in Zambia.

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An adventurer takes a shot of the Lady Livingstone cruise in the sunset

The day finally came when we had to all split up and undertake various activities as booked on the previous day. I was particularly envious of the group that had signed-up for the elephant ride as they would get a free sundowner cruise later in the day aboard Lady Livingstone, but I had my own items to tick off my bucket-list. Top on that list was the mind blowing bungee jump. I walked to the monstrous bridge connecting the gorge on whose belly the Zambezi flows, paid for the jump and waited for my name to be called out. I watched people come, jump and go, but I restrained myself from asking them what the experience was like because I wanted to feel it my way without expectations based on someone else’s jump. It was eventually my turn! The bungee crew harnessed by body to the safety ropes and for some reason I had to double check each hook, every rope and almost every stitch of the body hugging harness to which the ropes were attached. I was somewhat scared but determined to face my fear. I inched to the edge of the jump spot and knew it was now or never when the attendant said, ‘toes off the edge. 1, 2, 3…..’ I didn’t hear him say ‘bungeee..’ for I had immediately leaped off the ledge with my arms wide open, but I assumed he had said it as he had for every other jumper before me. The free-fall drop felt like the real version of that dream every child has falling into and endless abyss. My eyes were wide open looking straight at the roaring waters of the Zambezi and the dark sun licked rocks below. I felt as though my heart had turned into a helium balloon of super-light weight and hovered way above me as I dropped. The entire world felt paused and a ringing silence engulfed my surrounding. I have never felt so alone in my entire life. In all of less than 30 seconds the jump and several tosses while dangling from the bungee rope were over. An experience that even I cannot detail enough for you. I felt invincible as I came back up onto the bridge. It felt like a rebirth of sorts where fear did not take the back seat, but was literally kicked out of the bus!

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The imposing Victoria Falls Bridge

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An adventurer peers over the bridge. ‘Can I really jump?’ She seems to wonder

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All strapped and ready to jump. The smile says he’s calm, but the visible thin sweat says otherwise 🙂

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My turn to bungee came faster than I expected!

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An inspiring young adventurer (Sid) takes the leap!

While we tempted fate on the bridge, other adventurers took part in other activities. I had a recount of a micro-light flight from one lady and she described how ‘naked’ she felt flying hundreds of feet above the ground in a ‘contraption’ that felt like a motorbike high on drugs enough to fly. The pilot had a sticker that said, ‘ Don’t scream, I am scared too!’ She however said that the sights of the Zambezi below were exquisite. She was able to view a good expanse of the gorge and the mist blowing from the Victoria falls rose like bellowing white smoke!

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A shot of River Zambezi from a chopper

Those that took the elephant ride recounted of an instance where one of them dropped her hat accidentally and the elephant she was riding picked it up with her trunk and handed it back. Talk of intelligence in the wild!

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On the elephant ride!

Another bunch took on the rapids of the Zambezi on a raft. Only guarded with yellow helmets whose bright colour made them look like play toys not quite the recommend for when one would be crushing head on with rocks 🙂 Their experience was however a tale they told with manic enthusiasm!

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They set off to do the rafting!

We spent the New Year’s Eve in Livingstone. We partied at the camp’s bar where they had a DJ who didn’t come off as very acquainted to his decks, but we raved on anyway. He sort of redeemed himself when he played Kenyan tunes and gave shout outs to our crew who had by now become the centre of attraction drawing attention from the locals and fellow tourists alike! Remaining true to our adventurous spirit, we sampled other parties that were going down in and around Livingstone. We ushered in 2016 in style!

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Happy New Year from Livingstone!

It would be futile to visit Livingstone and not take a tour of the mighty Victoria Falls locally dubbed ‘Mosi-Oa-Tunya’ – The smoke that thunders. As we entered the gates to start the tour, we could hear the thundering pour at the falls. Mist bellowing into the air and regular drops of precipitate were common. The breathe taking view of the falls makes one think of how powerful the Creator is! It took us about two hours to walk the expanse of the cliff from which we viewed the falls, often catching a rainbow form as the mist went up in the sun.

Part of the group made their way down to Botswana which is not too far from Livingstone. The Chobe National Park which is home to a large number of elephant herds was the main attraction here, and it certainly did not disappoint.

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Ferry crossing from Zambia into Botswana. Photo by Ali Said

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A herd of jumbo in a mud bath at Chobe National Park

The 15 days that we had been away on travel through Kenya, Tanzania, Malawi, Zambia, Zimbabwe and Botswana seemed to have ran faster than anyone of us would have wished. Such is the life of the adventurer. That which has a beginning certainly has to have an end. Soon we were well on our way back to Nairobi, using the route through a town called Mpika in Zambia, Mbeya and Singinda in Tanzania. Of note is that thanks to the never disappointing Bunduz crew, we had an awesome time! Lasting friendships were forged and we lived true to the adventurers’ mantra that says, ‘Live Everyday as if it were your last, because one day you’ll certainly be right!’

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The able and experienced Bunduz crew that made it all possible!

 

Important Information

Event: Livingstone New Year’s Tour 

Period: 15 Day (23rd Dec 2015 to 6th Jan 2016)

Currency: Best to travel with US Dollars when traveling through several countries

Language: All the six countries speak English and other local languages

Organizer: http://www.bunduz.com/

Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/bunduzsafaris/timeline

Documentary (photos & writing) by: Macharia Njuguna and guest photographers (https://adventurewithmash.wordpress.com/)