Its been a while since I last posted any images/stories so here goes last week I was invited to Jamuhuri Park for the #KCBSafariRally and below are some of the images from the event….
Nairobi National Park is my home park (get it like home pub) I’ve visited this park more times than I can remember mostly because of the big cats. It all started because of a bet….. I had a bet with one of my friends who insisted that there were indeed lions at NNP I on the other hand thought the lions were only at the animals orphanage that was way back in 2010-11.
Fast forward 2015 I have had the pleasure of coming to know some of the Lions by their nicknames on sight and seen the number of lions in the park grow to an estimated figure of above 50. My quest has won over a couple of skeptics who like me at the beginning did not believe there are Lions at NNP. Strange fact less than 5% of Nairobians have been to the National Park.
I am doing my small part hoping that more and more people will begin to appreciate NNP and visit more often.
So during my visits I’ve learnt a few things that will make your game drive enjoyable and get maximum out of it
So here is a collection of Big Cats I have gotten over a period of time
Very few thing give me the same level of excitement as Photography and Wildlife when you combine the two I could sell my soul. The past month I got a chance to visit Meru National Park for those that know me I am a bit mental about wildlife.
I read and research a lot about Wildlife especialy the ones found within Kenya. I am still a long way off identifying a bird by the sound it makes but I am able to identify at least a dozen bird species by sight. Meru NP is a birding haven and for that reason I still have unfinished business there.
We went for a 4 day camping trip with the #OneTouch crew @Mwarv @JoeMakeni and @Sirnare from the word go I realized it was going to be an awesome trip. We set off from Nairobi at around Noon heading north on the A2. First stop was in Karatina necessitated by the hunger pangs we bought a carload of bananas. Second stop was in Nanyuki for lunch where we made this mistake of ordering Meat…. it was more like rubber I think I made my jaws strong for the whole year.
Next stop was in Timau the wheat fields seemed to be calling out to us to take pictures. We then proceeded to Meru did some shopping then hit the road to Maua by this time it was already dark and the state of the road didn’t help much we reached the Meru NP gates at 9pm. Good thing Mwarv had been in contact with the Rangers at the gate who kinda waited for us to reach.
We set up camp at Bwatherongi Campsite about 18kms from the main gate. Since we had already had our supper we set up tents and slept. 6AM following morning we are woken up by a troop of Baboons (a group of baboons is called a congress fyi) doing what baboons do best.
After breakfast we have our first game drive viewing lots of birds the animals seem to be hiding for some reason. We head outside the park for lunch and to get some network. The afternoon drive didn’t yield much a random Elephant from a distance in a thick bush, Impalas and the ever skittish lesser Kudu after covering 150km all we had were images of birds.
We went back to the camp to find Wambua the camp caretaker had started the fire for us already and had sambazad some mattresses our way no more sleeping on the floor oh what joy…. A rack of ribs purchased earlier in the day and the BBQ was on in the bush.
Breakfast consisted of a portion of ribs, canned beans, bread, juice and apples. The focus for today was to reach the part of the park where Tana River crosses the park on its way to Tana pun intended. it was an eventful drive Generuk, Crocodile, lots of birds (hornbills, buffalo weavers, fiscals you get the point), impalas, giraffes. We reached Tana River across the bridge in the Mwingi National Reserve where we met some these wardens who told us of the presence of lions that roam the area after we had taken a stroll down the river banks for like 3kms. Its said that the bridge that connects the two bank is the longest in any of the national parks or something like that.. From here you can also view the Adamson falls from here its more like rapids than a fall but who am I to judge what a fall is or isn’t?
From Tana River we drove back all the way to Elsa’s Kopje. Now how do you start talking about Elsa’s Kopje??? please google and read the reviews on tripadvisor cause I may not do it justice. There are three rock outcrops (Kopje in dutch) we sort permission from the management to go up one of the Kopje’s to shoot the sunset. Going up was not as easy as we had expected huffing and puffing showed our level of fitness.
When we got on top of the Kopje the sight was to behold you have a 360 view of the park and if lucky sport herds of elephants and buffaloes grazing in the distant.
The sunset was another different spectacle all together making the hike worth every bit of it. as the saying goes what goes up must come down and down we came having decided to be brighter we used a different route coming down at some point it was bottoms on the floor as we dragged ourselves on all fours. We made it all the way down and back in camp where Wambua had started the fire already (bless his soul)
After a good nights sleep we decided it was time to leave the park at 9AM. As we are heading towards the gate we stumble upon a grazing herd of elephants in the open like 20 meters away all you could hear for 10 minutes straight was the click of the shutter.
We made it out of the park at 10AM had lunch in Meru at 11AM bought more bananas in Karatina reached Nairobi at 4PM but managed to reach home at 8PM thanks to the arrival of POTUS.
All in all I still have unfinished business at Meru NP till the Next Trip!!!
Its been a while since I last did an update (Pressure now that mob guys have checked out the link shared on FB) I have a myriad of excuses sio Bundles, sio Zuku, si rain, sio sun, sio the roundabouts and the drums you know…!!!! Maisha Ngumu
Since the last update I have been up and about Nairobi National Park has featured prominently, Kapiti Ranch in Machakos, Lake Ol Bolosat and Lake Nakuru images below have been taken in the three locations.
While I would want to travel more and widely I still haven’t found an organs buyer to fund my habit so shorter day trips are what i am left to cope with.
My wish list still includes going around all the parks within Kenya and a couple more in East Africa So heres to Making that Happen..
Last year December I went for a drive with the family to visit relatives and friend in Nyanza got an opportunity to visit Ruma National Park it’s located at the Lambwe Valley. Legend has it that the Name Ruma came from a wizard Gor Mahia who lived around the park. Having googled about the park I discovered about the Roan Antelope and was curious to find out why they were only found in this park within Kenya.
After initially getting lost plenty of road works were going on at that time it was quite a challenge getting there we finally managed to find the junction leading to the park after a short drive in the country road we made it to the park entrance at around 9am.
Found a helpful group of Rangers who shared animal sightings and suggested areas to find more. The first 30mins there was no animal in sight the vegetation was rather dense I was nearly giving up
I finally got to see my first animal a Rothschild giraffe drinking water from then on it was giraffe after giraffe after giraffe (by know I have a soft spot for Giraffes, Zebras and Lions).
I met two rangers on patrol who directed me towards the parks Runway where I could see the Roan Antelopes I followed there instructions got myself to the runway. I drove down the runway nothing back up again nothing only a pair of Crowned Cranes soaking in the sun. As I was head out of the runway I finally saw several Topi’s on my rear view mirror brakes nini nini reverse chap chap shot a couple of images while doing that a group of Roan Antelopes decided to come out and play whoaaaahh!!!
The Roan Antelope is a beautiful animal tell me this face is not beautiful…
I tried to move closer but that only seemed to send them into the thicket nearby after the last one had disappeared into the bush we decided to leave the Park was on a mission to drive to Kisii town for lunch and get some rest in Nakuru.
Have an nice week and take care!!!!
I took my family on a road trip last December after an overnight stay in Nakuru we set off on to the Nakuru – Eldoret highway without a destination in mind upon reaching the turn off to Nandi we decided to go to Kapsabet just coz we could I guess.
The road was also being worked on so patches of it were bad and others good that’s makes for a fun road trip eh? Made it to Kakamega for lunch and decided to proceed to Kisumu as we drove down Riat Hills the car started making funny noises from the back wheel made a stop in Kondele at had the bearing fixed. At around 5pm decided to go back to Kakamega and find a place to stay overnight after several calls from my Kakamega residents Rondo Retreat was praised enough to raise my curiosity.
The drive from the main road to the retreat is about 10-13kms on a dirt road my only fear was the rain it was already getting dark and we did not know how far the place would be.
We made it at around 7pm the Retreat doesn’t take people after 6pm but since we had called in advance they were kind enough to let us in.
We were assigned a cottage called Isukha which is a cozy family room with nice furniture and fittings. I don’t usually write about food but the food at Rondo deservers a special mention Dinner time the soup and bread (Oh the bread). That bread was finger licking good I have never had bread this soft and sweet I nearly forgot about the main course… (Visit Rondo and have that bread then let me know what you think about it).
Since we reached at night I did not get a chance to see the grounds until the following morning this is one place I wouldnt mind waking up every morning. Birds singing, Fresh Air, breath taking view, the trees ohh the trees, the gardens, the tea growing outside the gates and the BREAD…. I am on again about the Bread….
Unfortunately I did not get enough time to visit the Kakamega Forest but for sure I will be back for a proper visit…
Enjoy your week and have some bread……
Rwanda is an amazing place on a recent assignment I had a chance to visit the Volcanoes National Park (which coincidentally has been on my bucket list) for Gorilla Trekking. Nothing prepares you for this trek you just have to show up and experience it and what an experience it was……
Woke up early couldn’t sleep the excitement got the better of me our driver picked us up from our hotel at 5am, we started our drive from the capital city Kigali heading North West towards Musanze final destination being Kinigi. The route is scenic along the way you will understand why its called the Land of a thousand hills. Steep windy roads with insane drops down valleys with rivers at the bottom it was a hair raising experience considering the way our driver was taking those corners.
We made it to Kinigi in one piece headed to the Volcanoes HQ a welcoming cup of tea worked its magic to brighten the chilly misty morning. our team was split into two each team consisting of 8 trekkers to visit different groups of Gorillas within Volcanoes National Park.
The fun started when we were introduced to Francois and Agatha let me digress just a bit Francois is a veteran at the park with over 33 year experience working at Volcanoes National Park he is a walking gorilla encyclopedia where to start…… from the different groups, their dietary habits, their mating habits the list is endless.
Up and onward to search for our assigned group Agashya up a gentle climb we finally entered the Forest. Now there are forests and then there are Forests I have never seen bamboo this tall visibility is less than 15meters talk of there being buffaloes and Elephants walking these woods doesn’t help matters one bit. Thank the soul that suggested we hire gumboots at the park headquaters the going was not easy the terrain, mud and the insects biting on my exposed neck.
We finally reached the Agashya group as I said nothing prepares you to be this close to the Gorillas we were within touching distance of these gentle giants the rangers kept humming/grunting as we approached the group since this group has been habituated (8 habituated groups in total at Volcanoes National Park if i remember correctly)
See gallery below click to enlarge images
Meet the Francois and Agathat
The Silverback head of the Agashya group
One of the females of the group
One of the groups babies
One of the sub adults
Within no time a hour had gone by that the maximum amount of time you can spend with the gorrila back the same route used and a certificate to confirm I visited the Agashya group
I have to visit this place again in this lifetime…..
On Friday I got a message on our group chat of an invitation to shoot fast bikes Motor X at the Jamuhuri Grounds. I made my way to the grounds at around 1 pm to find the races had already started quickly I made my way track side and began shooting.
For those that don’t know what Moto X (is Google is your friend) the participants ages range from 5yrs to Older competing in different classes.
I am one of those guys that like speed but from afar (Having dependents bearing my name has eliminated the need to put my self in harms way if it can be avoided) these bikes move fast at some point they actually fly see below, the skill level of the competitors is amazing makes you wish you could ride. One thing that you cant get used to are the falls moving at those crazy speeds on uneven tracks at some point people will fall broken limbs and other bones i had no idea existed in the human body. Lucky thing no one got any major injuries just minor falls those ones you dust yourself and mount your bike again or for the young ones your Dad probably putting you back on the bike one time.
Enjoy the images save the date August 30 for the East African Moto X championship to be held at the same grounds
I think this is the highest number of Images I have uploaded in a while….
Enjoy your week.
One day (always cheesy when a story starts this way) while at home my wife casually asked when I would be taking the family for a holiday. Being a guy i gave a monosyllabic response to kill the story and that was the end of it…..
I have a guy who knows a guy that has links and contacts in the hospitality industry a quick phone call and a deal was in place Flamingo Hill Hotel within the Nakuru National Park was to be my residence for 3 days. Having a game plan I asked wifey to pack for a couple of days for the kids and we hit the road 2 hours later we are in Nakuru.
Being a hard head is a bad thing asking for directions does not make you less of a man so i decided to use Google maps ended up in the wrong side outside of the park while Google maps was showing me a road I was on the right path. I finally swallowed some humble pie and finally asked for directions
The hotel was good the staff were helpful especially having small kids they went an extra mile to make our stay comfortable I would recommend to anyone willing to listen…..
Lake Nakuru National Park covers a relatively small area compared to other parks I have visited before. During my stay I managed to go round the park 3 times getting stuck a couple of times when there was some unexpected downpour (My trusty jalopy has not let me down yet) made it out in one piece.
For those that don’t know the water level has risen and some of the routes that had been accessible before have been submerged KWS have made alternative routes the Parks offices have also been claimed by the Lake.
Long story short You have to Visit Lake Nakuru National Park let the images below tell the story
Enjoy your Week..
Disclaimer : I don’t like writing.. I am learning to write… hopefully I will enjoy writing as much as I enjoy taking photos.
I love travel and discovering new frontiers being part of a group of photographers read OneTouch I have had the pleasure of traveling to different parts of Kenya with the intention of showcasing the beauty that is Kenya
On this particular trip our destination was the Amboseli National park one of the parks in my wishlist with 15 persons, two vans and an open road its was the beginning of an amazing/breath taking/awesome/did I say amazing yeah you get the point
I have to visit Amboseli again and again I have a soft spot for Elephants what magnificent creatures they are….. a pity we are letting poachers threaten our National Heritage
Enjoy the images!!
Swabra watching the sunrise in Amboseli
First Ellie we saw at Amboseli
Present and Future generations
Meet Tim one of the last remaining Ellies with massive tusks in Amboseli