We have a new feature in our blog that will cover never seen photos of places I have have visited! These photos are meant to highlight key attractions in the different destinations and inspire you to visit while giving you an idea of the top attractions and things to do!
To start us off, spotlight will be on Lake Bogoria in Baringo County.
Well there you have it.
I hope these are enough photos to inspire you to visit Lake Bogoria.
I went to Stanley’s Haven earlier in the year with my production team and it was all shooting and work.(See the post here).
I promised myself that I would go back there with my friends. They needed to see this little paradise. There was this particular family house with a capacity of eight and from the onset, I knew this was perfect for us and just like that …we had a weekend plan!
We spent one night at Stanley’s.
Unlimited access to the swimming pool for residents.
A DJ on request(The speakers provided was something else!)
Barbeque grill on request too.
Full Breakfast the next morning
Here are pictures of our stay.
Stanley’s was kind enough to let us extend our stay to about 4:30pm. This was possible because we took lunch served from their restaurant and there were no guests checking in that Sunday afternoon.
From us at Bonita on Safari we say asante for your hospitality and we will come back again.
Cost of Family house: Ksh 20,000.00 a night. This fee includes:bed and breakfast and unlimited access to the swimming pool. It can house eight people.
A cottage costs Ksh.5000.00 a night.
Double rooms costs Ksh.4000.00 a night.
Meals: You can choose between self catering or order your meals from the restaurant at an extra cost.
*Please note that the prices I have quoted were as per my the last visit.It is important to call the Hotel and find out whether there are changes before you travel.
Tag your friends along to Stanley’s Haven, you will thank me later.
Diani in south coast Kenya is one of my favorite coastal destinations in East Africa. The long strip of white sandy beaches, clear blue sky, chilled weather, turquoise waters with small patches of sea weed here and there, the sound of sea waves crushing against the shore, not forgetting the humidity that gives a sauna feel makes the haven irresistible.
In Diani, everything is stylish and elegant. Five star hotels, perfect infrastructure, stylish villas, international cuisines prepared by renowned chefs and world class water sports only to mention a few.
Standing majestically in the midst of all this magic is the chilled Swahili styled Golini Resort comprising of two cottages sitting on a two acre piece of land. The compound boasts of pedicured lawns, trimmed hedges, scented flowers, mature trees and a swimming pool. The resort is nothing short of beautiful.
Just as a home should be,warm clean and welcoming, the resort is all that and more. Graveled driveway, chlorophyllated grass, colourful flowers and an aura of comfort and calm.
The general plan has the master en suite, living room, well fitted kitchen, and a guest washroom on the ground floor.
A personal chef is available on request. This makes for a perfect opportunity to sample coastal dishes and to maximize on that vacation feel when away from home.
Located between the Master bedroom and the living room is a stylish spiral staircase that leads to the other rooms upstairs.
The rooms upstairs are nothing short of amazing, discreet and spacious. The snow white walls, huge bathroom and walk-in closet, large windows and a panoramic view of the compound make the rooms upstairs standout. This kind of set up is ideal for families with kids or a small group of friends touring South Coast.
The other bedroom that has a single bed.
Bathroom and Closet…
The other fabulous feature of this house that is impossible to ignore are the windows. Wide louvered windows run from wall to wall ensuring natural light and fresh air in the house effortlessly.
The front porch of the house opens up to a beautiful garden of flowers, trees and a pavement that leads to the swimming pool. Hanging delicately from the ceiling in the veranda is a unique hand crafted African lampshades that emphasizes the existing sense of panache.
The best part of Golini Resort is the fact that it located exactly two minutes from the sea front of Galu beach.What more could one be looking for in a coastal holiday destination?
Golini Resort is available for both long and short stays. The property is also on sale.(If interested drop me an email at firstname.lastname@example.org for more details ).
Distance from Nairobi: About one and a half hours drive from Nairobi.(Approximately 120Km)
Tour guide: Necessary for first timers.
Main attraction: The natural hot water spa.
Other attractions/Activities: Game viewing, camping,bird watching,sight seeing, cycling,hiking and rock climbing.
Charges: There are two charges:One is for accessing the National park as follows: Citizens;Ksh 350 for adults and Ksh250 children,Residents Ksh 700 adults and Ksh350 for children,USD 30 for adults and USD 20 for non residents.The other charge is for accessing the swimming pool area. Which is about Ksh 400.00*( please confirm with them on this).
It is called a geothermal hot spa because of the hot water(hot steam that cools in the collecting pipes) that is collected from the various wells within the plant and emptied into the pool.The temperature of the main pool ranges between 30-40 degrees centigrade.
There is an apparent smell hydrogen sulphide gas(the smell from rotten eggs) in the pool area mainly assosiated with sulphide gas emitted during the drilling process that combines the hydrogen in the atmosphere . This however should not be a deal breaker (hahaha because fresh air is in abundance too!)
If swimming and water isn’t really your thing then no worries… you might as well take a nap and enjoy the warm humid air from the hot steam that is vaguely in the atmosphere.
The management should have a cleaner on standby or constantly ensure that the changing room and shower’s floor is dried after use to avoid minor accidents caused by slippery/wet floor.
Also, a few minor repairs like fixing the towel holders would be great.
Overall verdict: Nice place to unwind. A must-visit destination when you visit Naivasha town or Hell’s gate National Park.
“Travel while you’re young and able. Don’t worry about the money, just make it work. Experience is far more valuable than money will ever be” These are the famous words of David Wolfe.
Distant Relatives is home away from home. I spent one of my holidays there and I can strongly recommend it to anyone looking for a place to visit in Kilifi.
Here are my ten reasons why you should be on your way there already!
They have a wide array of accommodation to choose from depending on your budget. My favorite of course being the tent.It has a capacity of two. They will charge you slightly over a thousand shillings per person sharing for a night.
2. Environmentally Friendly.
The Cape Town Declaration of 2002 defines responsible tourism as making better places for people to live in and better places to visit.It pushes for tour operators and other stake holders to take action and make tourism more sustainable.Distant relatives has by all means walked and talked the gospel of the responsible tourism. So if you are keen on environmental conservation then you will have a field day there because almost everything is recycled. From the tumblers used at the bar, to the manure used at the farm.
It is also the only place in the world that you can find Viceroy old liqueur growing on trees! lol
Just on your way to the farm, is a common shower inside a tiny bamboo forest. You can occasionally see tiny frogs and other harmless reptiles as you enjoy your showers under the bamboo canopy. The water is then recycled for farm use!
3. Meet the world.
Visitors at the Eco Lodge come from all corners of the world as observed.Listen to music from different countries, have a good laugh and learn from the different cultures represented here. All you need is a rapport with people you are genuinely interested in learning from.
I tend to think if a good number of young people took time to travel and understand different cultures, perhaps half of the world problems caused by ignorance and in-exposure can been solved. As Mahatma Gandhi said…”Travel is the language of peace.”
4. Chill and enjoy your ‘you’ time.
If there is one thing I totally appreciated about distant relatives is the space and the interior decor. It is so natural, laid back and inviting. You can have a quick afternoon nap, read a book, lazy in a pod or just relax and enjoy the cool music in the background.
5. Discover your talent or lack of.
It is one thing to know that you can not play the guitar, darts or even pool then, it is another thing to have it confirmed by trying and failing horribly…
At distant relatives, you are sure to spend your afternoon perfecting your skills in these and other games or just having a good time as you learn or compete with other travelers.
6.Go on a fishing trip with local fishermen.
Isn’t that what everybody who visits the back packers does? Coast is generally hot, and naturally, the body will try to regulate it’s temperature back to normal. This leaves swimming as the most viable idea.
8.Party inside the Musafir.
I am meant to understand there is a story behind Musafir the dhow… luckily during my stay at Distant Relatives,I was privileged to go to a party held in the Musafir deep inside the creek at night.. Ha ha ha talk of culture shock with all this foreign music and dancing styles! Were it not for Bob Nesta Marley’s Redemption song and get up,stand up, I would have completely floated. . but as I always say, we travel to learn and appreciate our differences.
Enjoy the best view of the magical sunset as sip you favorite drink!
The delicious hand made pizza,that is well cooked in a wood-fired oven,boasts of its thin crust coupled with generous toppings making Fridays at Distant Relatives a day worth looking forward to.
Other things to do…
Go to the beach.
Visit the beach any time of the day or night!
Last but not least…
Shop at their boutique for unique African wear and a host of other stuff. If you want to buy your friends and family gifts, this is the perfect place to.
Have you ever fallen in love, so hard, so bad and so desperately?
I know you probably want to know if I have, and the answer is yes. I am in love. With a guy I met, just last weekend. He is rich, quiet and shy. Very little is known about my Mr.
He is surrounded by the big, popular and loud guys, but my man chooses to be quiet. I like it that way, I want him to maintain a low profile. Haha competition is real you know… and a girl must protect her own…
But wait a minute, I am already talking about him here, so I might as well just spill it…
This guy lives in Naivasha.
His name…(drum rolls)…. is ….(Faster drum rolls.) Lake Oloiden. hahahaha! Gotcha!
Lake Oloiden is a small salt water lake in Naivasha just next to Lake Naivasha. My tour guide, a local, told me that a long time ago it was part of the larger L.Naivasha but a hill(s) grew in between and/or Lake Naivasha ‘moved’ away… (I wish I could get a researched version of this theory. (If you have any valuable info about this lake, please share with us).
Lake Oloiden is along South lake Road, about 27Km from the start of the road. As you approach the lake, there is a small shopping center called Kongoni which is about 800m to the lake. The lake is on the right side of the road. ( see who tried to give directions there!)
If you love nature photography, water bodies, land forms, amazing landscapes, peace, quiet and tranquility then this is the place.
This lake is hidden and that is why very little is known about it. However, I can confidently say that never in my life have I ever had a mix of awe, thrill, fear and amusement in just under an hour.
As you drive in towards the lake, the road is a bit curved so you just don’t know what to expect. Then Alas! the curtains are drawn and you get to see the secret nature has been keeping from you. Bliss!
The boat ride.It will cost you Ksh.2000 to rent a boat for about 30 minutes. The boat carries a maximum of 7 at a go. The thrill about this ride is debunking of the myth that L.Oloiden is tiny.What you see with your eyes when standing on the shore is not what is actually experienced when you go for the boat ride! It is fairly big.
Nothing beats the feeling of seeing a tiny hill across the lake then only to move closer and discover it is actually huge.
What would you do if you see a huge hippo a few meters from you, then at the blink of an eye it is not there. You quickly open your eyes and now it is just centimeters from you.You swallow hard and open your eyes wide while murmuring incomprehensibles…the next thing you know it has swam right beneath your tiny boat to the other side only to resurface with its mouth wide open!!! The questions that go through your mind suddenly are… where is the mother, father and siblings? How fast can I swim to the shore(Swim? to where?) Am I at peace with my maker? Jeez! It is scary. I wont talk about the confessions I heard from my pal Myra… (hilarious)
Peeping giraffes, ducking dik diks, grazing zebras, grooming birds, cheerful fishermen, croaking frogs,old cabin houses, rolling hills, green campsites and so much more… I could go on and on and on and on but no. I will stop at that.
See why I fell in love and why I will go back again when the sun shines?
What if I tell you that you can go to the coast for three days and spend about Ksh 10,000 on transport, food, accommodation and still have some loose change to keep while at the same time having a lifetime experience?
Yes…then move closer and allow me to fill you in on this hole and corner deal. As we always say here at Bonita on Safari, it’s about traveling as often as you can on a budget and enjoying yourself to the fullest.
Transport to and fro is very affordable and comfortable.
A comfortable ride to Mombasa will cost you approximately Ksh. 3,200 for a round trip. There are many bus companies that ply the Nairobi-Coast region, but I have to admit I’ve had an exceptional experience with Dreamline buses. I recommend you book a return ticket to avoid disappointments on your way back.
2. Cheap and healthy dishes.
A proper meal in Kilifi County will cost you on average between Ksh 200-250 in the many eateries that serve delicious hygienic meals. Breakfast will not cost you more than Ksh 50 this will constitute of Chai ya tangawizi, yummy mahamri and some coconut mbaazi on the side, for instance.
3. Readily available and extremely affordable transport in form of Tuk Tuks.
If there is one thing I miss about the coast in general is tuk tuk rides! It has a capacity of three passengers and charges Ksh. 100 within the town center and Ksh 150 outside the town center. For convenience, if you move around a lot, outside the town center you can have one tuk tuk driver’s number for easy pick and drop services.
4. Affordable Accommodation
Kilifi County boasts of so many tourists hotels. While on a budget, I strongly recommend Distant Relative Eco-lodge and backpackers. Accommodation here starts from Ksh 1,250 a night. They have very nice dorms,tents, and bandas. You can also come with your own tent and pay only Ksh. 500 a night!
5. You can check out Kilifi Creek
When you come from Nairobi, the closest you come to a water body is Nairobi river, then why not visit Kilifi and enjoy this peaceful, beautiful scenic view of Kilifi Creek.
6. Enjoy an evening Sail
An evening sail on a boat will take about two to three hours into the sea. You can carry your book, camera or drinks and sail your worries away as you enjoy the scene and appreciate the marvels of nature.
7. Visit Watamu
Watamu Marine National Park is about an hour and a half drive from Kilifi. This is where you get to swim with the dolphins and beautiful colorful fishes,snorkel, wind surf, sunbathe, water ski or just enjoy the cool ocean breeze. If you do not like swimming, a nice glass bottomed boat ride will definitely awe you.
8. Enjoy the street food culture
The streets of Kilifi are dotted with street food vendors. One thing I particularly liked about them is the level of hygiene even as they prepare their delicacies by the road side in the open air. When you visit Kilifi, make sure you try out deep fried cassava and ‘viazi karai’ served with tamarind sauce otherwise known as ‘ukwaju’.
9. Learn about the Agiriama people and culture.
Nothing gives so much pleasure as traveling to a new place and learning a thing or two about the inhabitants of the area.I was in luck to visit a neighboring village. Had my new friend Mozda plait my hair at only Ksh. 80.00. She told me about their cultural practices and beliefs, and even invited me to spend a weekend with them…he he he I guess that means no paying for accommodation the next time I go to Kilifi…:-)
10. The breath taking Kilifi sunset
Last but not least…This by far is the most beautiful sunset I have ever seen. The calmness, cool breeze, golden sky,orange sun, gliding birds, and sounds of laughter from friends just sums up a perfect evening in Kilifi.