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.

Compass pic

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.

ABERDARE-FOREST-LEO

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.

Lost Trail

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.

power-of-positive-thinking

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!

 

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!

out-at-sea

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!

Vroom!.jpg

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!

We safari.jpg

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)

A Hotbed of Cultural Diversity ~ Samburu!

Samburu County

Modernization is fast spreading throughout Kenya and Samburu has certainly made notable steps towards this. However, the people of Samburu have found a way to marry the comforts of modernization to their traditional ways of life, resulting in a culture full of colour and distinct contrasts to the silent ‘code’ of westernization that is often confused to be the stamp or validation of a community living in modern times.

Modern, but not lost in westernization

Modern, but not lost in westernization

 

Samburu county is one of the few places in Africa where the locals have held on to their traditional ways of life and culture. The name Samburu refers to the people forming the majority of the county’s population. The county however is home to other communitites notably the Turkana, Pokot, Rendille and Borana.

Young Turkana men stylishly adorned for the event

Young Turkana men stylishly adorned for the event

I visited Samburu County during the 26th Edition of the Maralal International Camel Derby and as always, I was glad to be back to this hot bed of cultural diversity; a true gem of Kenya.

Samburu, a true gem of Kenya

Samburu, a true gem of Kenya

As promised, I got some shots in an effort to give you a glimpse and virtually connect you to what the people of Samburu are like.. 🙂

A moran ponders his next move while clutching to his cell phone

A moran ponders his next move while clutching to his cell phone

Keenly following the camel races at the derby

Keenly following the camel races at the derby

A happy Samburu dance

A happy Samburu dance

A war like dance by Turkana warriors

A war like dance by Turkana warriors

A combination of age, composure and beaty!

A combination of age, composure and beaty!

Morans ready to present a jump dance

Morans ready to present a jump dance

Colour is never shot in Samburu

Colour is never short in Samburu

I love my roots!

I love my roots!

Samburu weather supports the Moran dress code

Samburu weather supports the Moran dress code

Friends of a feather, chat together

Friends of a feather, chat together

A wade through the mud to the derby celebrations

A wade through the mud to the derby celebrations

Comfortable in her well arranged necklong ornaments

Curious

Curious

All set for the pomp and dance!

All set for the pomp and dance!

The soloist with an angelic voice

The soloist with an angelic voice

To show our joy, we dance

To show our joy, we dance

A man shares his tobacco with a female friend

A man shares his tobacco with a female friend

I don't wonna miss out on anything

I don’t wonna miss out on anything

Age didn't stop her from being part of the derby

Age didn’t stop her from being part of the derby

For her, life went on unperturbed

For her, life went on unperturbed

Wide rimmed neck pieces

Wide rimmed neck pieces

Young girls show up for the clebrations

Young girls show up for the celebrations

A male soloist leads a female choir

A male soloist leads a female choir

I made new friends. They live in Nairobi and always make an effort to attend and support the Camel Derby

I made new friends. They live in Nairobi and always make an effort to attend and support the Camel Derby

Undeniable patriotism

Undeniable patriotism

On the journey of life

On the journey of life

Alone in a crowd

Alone in a crowd

Beautiful friends

Beautiful friends

Ladies in stylish hide clothes

Ladies in stylish hide clothes

"What say you?"

“What say you?”

She hid, I sought :-)

She hid, I sought 🙂

"All this fun in one ground?" She seemed to ask

“All this fun in one ground?” She seemed to ask

Camels got gear too! :-)

Camels got gear too! 🙂

"Hold on, let's smile for the camera.."

“Hold on, let’s smile for the camera..”

Colour that makes life beautiful

Colour that makes life beautiful

The stick is not only ornamental, but for utility as well

The stick is not only ornamental, but for utility as well

They rested outside the pub. My guess, it must have been full inside :-)

They rested outside the pub. My guess, it must have been full inside 🙂

She let me take her photograph and asked to see it

She let me take her photograph and asked to see it

Her shyness couldn't hide her beauty

Her shyness couldn’t hide her beauty

"Is this bead out of line..?"

“Is this bead out of line..?”

He cleaned his teeth in readiness for the pomp

He cleaned his teeth in readiness for the pomp

It's on! Boogie down!

It’s on! Boogie down!

"Did you see that..?"

“Did you see that..?”

His jacket played a good backdrop for this shot :-)

His jacket played a good backdrop for this shot 🙂

Not even the grey could take away their colour and beauty

Not even the grey could take away their colour and beauty

I had to blur him out to get the beauties

I had to blur him out to capture the beauties

The Morans' hangout spot

The Morans’ hangout spot

Load on her back, but she couldn't resist being part of the spectators

Load on her back, but she couldn’t resist being part of the spectators

Friendship is, enjoying the derby together

Friendship is, enjoying the derby together

The ladies man!

The ladies man! They danced around him.

Selfie on a camel back

Selfie on a camel back

"We are with it!"

“We are with it!”

The crowd at the Camel Derby evening fun fair

The crowd at the Camel Derby evening fun fair

The sturdy moran seemed to stand guard of his community.

This sturdy moran seemed to stand guard of his community.

The shots are meant to make you want to know more about the beautiful people of Samburu County. What better way to do so than to organize a vist of the county? Go experience the warmth, colour and energy of the Samburu!

Event: The International Maralal Camel Derby (26th Edition)

Location: Maralal, Samburu County, Nothern Kenya

Photography and documentation by: Macharia Njuguna, @macharianjuguna

Adventure and safari organized by: www.bunduz.com

The Ultimate Trip, #Day 6 (Lake Bunyonyi – Kampala)

A life size sculpture of an elephant at Lake Bunyonyi Overland Resort

A life size sculpture of an elephant at Lake Bunyonyi Overland Resort

On the early morning of day six we all got up, had our breakfast and lazily got ready to leave the scenic Lake Bunyonyi. I had kept my word to her, I came back to take in and enjoy more of her beauty.

A tent pitched by the shores of Lake Bunyonyi. One of the Bunduz.com crew members spent the night in it.

A tent pitched by the shores of Lake Bunyonyi. One of the Bunduz.com crew members spent the night in it.

We had known the Lake Bunyonyi area to be quite chilly in the morning, but on this day it was quite warm. It was as if the lady who the lake is was coercing us to stay longer and keep her company. She certainly is a fine woman; as she only got to show us exactly how she felt on our second opportunity of meeting ;-). She however fell for a bunch that would sadly have to leave her only with another uncertain promise of return. I wouldn’t blame her, we really are a bunch of jolly good fellows! On the other hand, we are adventurers, always in pursuit of a new experience. Soon, we were well on our way to Kampala.

Packing our stuff back into The Beast

Packing our stuff back into The Beast

The trip down to Kampala was not an easy one, as by this day most of us were quite knackered. This however did not kill the spirit of building friendships while sharing drink for most of us. Bottles popped, liquids poured and throats were quenched as lasting friendships were built. The entire time The Beast growled along as if in approval of the happenings in his belly 🙂

Knackered! Couldn't resist a nap.

Knackered! Couldn’t resist a nap.

Lasting friendships built!

Lasting friendships built!

Bottles popped, liquids poured and throats were quenched :-)

Bottles popped, liquids poured and throats were quenched 🙂

Many chitchats, bottles and pee stops later, we got to the Equator crossing in Uganda. A town we had been at previously on our journey to Kigali. We made a stop and had our picnic lunch here. Uganda is one of the few countries in the world where the imaginary line that divides the earth into two half passes. The Equator or the Uganda equator crosses into Uganda at a point situated 72km south of Kampala along the Kampala – Masaka road.

Sumptuous lunch prepared by the Bunduz.com crew

Sumptuous lunch prepared by the Bunduz.com crew

Adventurers enjoying lunch at the Equator in Uganda

Adventurers enjoying lunch at the Equator in Uganda

The curio shops at the Equator offer great shopping bargains. The craft stalls sell souvenirs and handmade products a majority with marks talking about the Equator. Some adventurers took the opportunity to purchase some memorabilia for the trip. I was sad that on this day I couldn’t find a proper fit of t-shirt saying, ‘I crossed the Ugandan Equator.’

I witnessed an unfortunate incident where one of us had to pay for an African drum which he damaged while testing it’s quality of resonance using a Masai ‘rungu’ as a drumming stick! I couldn’t understand why, but then again, bottles had popped, liquids poured and throats had been quenched. 😉

Say cheese!! The entire group of adventurers pose for a photo at the Equator

Say cheese!! The entire group of adventurers poses for a photo at the Equator

At this point, there are two cement circles marking the equator line and it is worth stopping for a photo moment. We also watched a a local demonstrate how water swirls in opposite directions in the northern & southern hemispheres at the equator line.

Later on in the evening, we arrived at the beautiful city of Kampala and got caught up in it’s hustle and bustle of people rushing home from the city after working hours. There was a swarm of motorbikes crisscrossing in between cars stuck in traffic while passengers pillion precariously. A busy city Kampala is!

Motorcycles in Kampala city

Motorcycles in Kampala city

A beautiful street of Kampala city

A beautiful street of Kampala city

We proceeded through the city and out to an outskirt suburb named Butabika, where we put up at the Red Chilli Hideaway, a spot quite popular with overland adventurers. I liked the place immediately, the well manicured lawns gave a sense of rest and tranquil while the swimming pool complete with a sun downer bar felt like the blessing of an oasis to a wanderer in a desert! Needless to say, we all hopped into the water to cool off from the fatigue of our travels as we enjoyed as game of water polo.

Red Chilli Hideway in Butabika, Kampala

Red Chilli Hideway in Butabika, Kampala

The irresistible swimming pool complete with a sun downer bar at the Red Chilli

The irresistible swimming pool complete with a sun downer bar at the Red Chilli

Later that night after dinner, we celebrated the birthday of one adventurer. A friendship had been fostered among adventurers!

Happy Birthday!

Happy Birthday!

 

Event: The Ultimate Road Trip
Period: #Day 6 (2nd Jan 2015)
Distance: Lake Bunyonyi (Uganda) – Kampal (Uganda) Approx. 454km
Organizer: http://www.bunduz.com/
Documentary (photos & writing) by: Macharia Njuguna (https://adventurewithmash.wordpress.com/)

The Ultimate Trip (#Day 5) – Kigali – Lake Bunyonyi

Hotel Baussejour. Kigali, Rwanda.

Hotel Bausejour. Kigali, Rwanda.

Eventually we had to leave the beautiful land of Rwanda. It was evident that most of us wished our stay here would have been longer. Kigali had certainly treated us well and I personally loved it! With all the Kigali city exploration and the good old partying, we were quite spent on this day of departure.

Adventurers take a nap on our way to Lake Bunyonyi from Kigali

Adventurers take a nap on our way to Lake Bunyonyi from Kigali

The trip back seemed way longer than it was when we were heading to Kigali. We eventually got to the Lake Bunyonyi Overland Resort in the late afternoon. I was glad to see her beauty and splendour still intact.

Lake Bunyonyi

Lake Bunyonyi

Sharing a light moment by the shores of Lake Bunyonyi

Sharing a light moment by the shores of Lake Bunyonyi

We had a lot of time to relax here after having a sumptuous lunch prepared by the ever ready Bunduz.com chef. Some of the adventurers opted to spend the afternoon in their rooms, probably sleeping to recover from the party hangovers of Kigali, while others decided to indulge in a game of poker and enjoy a drink or two. I was definitely with the latter group of adventurers and sure had some fun!

Let's play some poker!

Let’s play some poker!

Taking in the beauty of Lake Bunyonyi

Taking in the beauty of Lake Bunyonyi

The locals enjoy time at the Lake Bunyonyi Resort with their families

The locals enjoy time at the Lake Bunyonyi Resort with their families

Time seemed to fly and before long it was time for dinner. The chef had promised to give us a grand barbeque and he certainly did not disappoint!

 

Adventurers around the fire as the barbeque was prepared.

Adventurers around the fire as the barbeque was prepared.

 

Mukhtar the Trip Captain helps put together the barbeque

Mukhtar the Trip Captain helps put together the barbeque

 

Dinner is served!

Dinner is served!

 

One Mr.Mbugua couldn't resist posing with the ladies! :-)

One Mr.Mbugua couldn’t resist posing with the ladies! 🙂

On this night we retired a little early as we had a long way down to Kampala the next day.

 

Road Trip Organized by: http://www.bunduz.com/

Documentary and Photos by: Macharia Njuguna (https://adventurewithmash.wordpress.com/)

 

 

Of Tusks, Rivers & Machines (Tsavo East)

Hello there, good people!

I recently had the opportunity to visit the scenic Tsavo East National Park (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tsavo_East_National_Park) which is one of the oldest national parks in Kenya, having opened its gates in 1948!

Mash snapping away!

Mash snapping away!

I entered the park through the Voi, Manyani gate which is just one of it’s three gates widely spread over it’s imposing perimeter of 13,747 square kilometers. I was there on a work related mission, but by now I know you know how I do; I mixed work with a little pleasure and brought you several photos in which I share my experience with you 🙂

Construction of a steel bridge over Galana River

Construction of a steel bridge over Galana River

A steel bridge is being built over the wide and snaking Galana River, under the employ of the Kenya Wildlife Services, funded by the European Union. This bridge is somewhat controversial in the sense that different park stakeholders are looking at it in totally different perspectives! The Kenya Wildlife Service sees the project as a major step towards easing their fight against poaching. The bridge will make more parts of the park accessible to the game rangers and therefore make possible the protection of wildlife from poachers. On the other hand, conservationists view this project as a major tamper with the Eco-system of the park! They feel that this will set a precedent for so-called ‘development accelerators’ (roads, railway lines, electricity cables) to now shamelessly be passed through the park! What do you think? (share your views in the comments section)

The wide, tranquil and snaking Galana River

The wide, tranquil and snaking Galana River

 

Men building piers on which the steel bridge will rest.

Men building piers on which the steel bridge will rest.

 

'Robots' at work at the Galana River

‘Robots’ at work at the Galana River

The beauty of the Tsavo East National Park cannot be ignored. The park is generally flat, consists of semi-arid areas and savannah grasslands which are the habitat to a large number of animal species which includes the ‘Big Five’ (Lions, Elephants Buffaloes, Rhinos and Leopards) as well as a host of bird species. I wasn’t lucky enough to sight all these animals, but I sure had my fair share of animal sightings (elephants) and scenic natural features! Check them out 🙂

It's lunch time, do you care to join me? The jumbo seems to ask

It’s lunch time, do you care to join me? The jumbo seems to ask

 

A jumbo peeping at me through a thorny bush.

A jumbo peeping at me through a thorny bush.

 

A grown elephant plays with it's young one

A grown elephant plays with it’s young one

 

A family of elephants peacefully grazing away

A family of elephants peacefully grazing away

 

A young elephant walks to catch up with the rest of the herd.

A young elephant walks to catch up with the rest of the herd.

Tsavo National Park also boasts some beautiful scenery which I was glad to have had the opportunity to take several shots of. At this time it was sweltering hot and most animals tend to hide in the undergrowth in search of the much needed soothing shade.

A male & female Ostrich advance towards each other. An ostrich dance in the making (the attraction is real) :-)

A male & female Ostrich advance towards each other. An ostrich dance in the making (the attraction is real) 🙂

 

Entry to the Lugard Falls, name after Frederick Lugard the British soldier and explorer

Entry to the Lugards Falls, name after Frederick Lugard the British soldier and explorer

 

(Lugard Falls) The enchanting series of white water rapids on River Galana.

Lugards Falls. The enchanting series of white water rapids on River Galana. (Notice the beautiful shapes curved out in the rocks by the torrent water)

 

River Galana is home to a large population of crocodile. They all tend to converge at the Crocodile Point where there are less rocks and the water is quite tranquil. It serves well as a hunting and a breeding ground.

River Galana is home to a large population of crocodile. They all tend to converge at the Crocodile Point where there are less rocks and the water is quite tranquil. It serves well as a hunting and a breeding ground.

 

It was too hot on this day, not one crocodile was in site!

It was too hot on this day, not one crocodile was in sight at Crocodile Point

 

The tranquil Galana River

The tranquil Galana River

The construction of the steel bridge over the Galana River is almost complete. I can’t help but keep wondering whether this will develop into another human-wildlife conflict or it will actually contribute to the efforts of conserving and protecting the wildlife and the park’s Eco-system. Only time will tell..

The digging continues. The bridge will soon be up over the Galana River.

The digging continues. The bridge will soon be up over the Galana River.

 

Our trusted friend (Ford Ranger) got us to the park and back home. Even she couldn't stand the sweltering heat; she had to hide in the shadow of the concrete mixer :-)

Our trusted friend (Ford Ranger) got us to the park and back home. Even she couldn’t stand the sweltering heat; she had to hide in the shadow of the concrete mixer 🙂

It was my pleasure having visited the Tsavo East National Park, I would highly recommend that you take some time too and make a trip down there. Get to see what our beautiful country (Kenya) has to offer!

Important Information;

Distance from Nairobi: 331 KM (Approximately 4hrs 30min drive)

Terrain: 

Good smooth tarmac from Nairobi to Voi

Rough dirt roads within the park (4×4 vehicles highly recommended)

Park Entry Fees:

Refer to this (http://www.kws.org/export/sites/kws/about/downloads/Entry_Fee_Leaflet.pdf)

What to carry:  

Hiking boots, Drinking water, Camping equipment (if you intend to stay overnight) Also useful are: Binoculars, Camera, Hat,

Sunscreen, Sunglasses, Guidebooks, Mosquito repellant and Waterproof jacket.

Where To Stay:                

Voi Safari Lodge, Ndololo Tented Camp, Kingfisher Tented Camp, Satao Camp

Activities:  

Game viewing, Trekking, Bird watching

NOTE: Always Follows the Park Rules!

 ~MASH~