Samburu National Reserve getaway/Thetravelingmom.

Isn’t she lovely? Source: Internet

Traveling to Samburu had been on my mind since 2018. Being the planner I am I fixed it for mid-2019 (the same way I have my 2020 travel calendar already planned out) for little traveler’s birthday weekend because there was no way I was traveling there alone from some of the stories I’d read.

Samburu is a county in the former Rift Valley Province in Nothern Kenya where the Samburu, Turkana and some other tribes live and it’s in the South of Lake Turkana.

Before traveling to a new place always do an extensive research about the place, so some of the reasons I’d heard or read that instilled some fear in me included the state of the road. I think back then the road that led to the hotel we intended to book was bad and there was a possibility that you could get stuck if it was the rainy season. I also read that once you arrived at the gate of the park, during security check you are supposed to ask for police escort just in case you could get attacked by bandits.

Loving our rooom


Due to those reasons, we had weighed the options of going by flight or using the services of a travel agent and their travel vans because they would be familiar with the road and how to deal with the insecurities if a need would arise. They ended up being too expensive though and way out of our budget. For that reason we decided that we would drive down and we made payments a month in advance.

May being a rainy season in Samburu, we were mostly concerned about the state of the road in case they experienced the heavy rains, so we kept in touch with the camp and they would always update us on how it was. They also assured us that we would be safe and that the banditry cases had since reduced.

The distance from Nairobi to our hotel; Samburu Intrepids took us six hours. We left early morning arriving at the hotel almost at 1pm. You always need to start your journey early, especially if you are going to a place you know nothing about.



Samburu National Reserve:
It is a game reserve on the banks of river Ewaso Ng’iro in Samburu County which is the main source of water for the wild animals here.
‘Elsa the lionesses of the book “Born Free” was also raised at Samburu National Reserve by George and Joy Adamson.
It was also the home of the lioness ‘Kumanyak’ who was famous for having adopted 6 Oryx calves.
The big five of Samburu are easily spotted here, namely: Reticulated giraffe, Somali ostrich, Grevy’s zebra, Beisa Oryx and Gerenuk.
Other animals that are found here include: Elephants, lions, leopards, cheetahs and several birds.
The park is managed by the County council of Samburu.

When we arrived



Where we stayed:

Samburu Intrepids Tented Camp.
Located within Samburu National Reserve, Samburu Intrepids is a tented camp that’s perfect for that weekend getaway if you want to hide in the bush. We did enjoy our stay.

Loved our room


Cosy, very cosy.



Costs incurred:
Park fees: KSH1200 for adults and KSH600 for children.
We fueled full tank on our way @ KSH6000 but we had to fuel again in Nanyuki on our way back and the cost would definitely depend on the car you have.
Game drive offered by the camp was KSH5000 per adult.
You can also do a self-game drive.
Being a low season, the camp wasn’t any busy and I still remember we were less than 10 guests in the camp that weekend, I know because I asked. They charged KSH26,000 per night on full board basis.

Verdict:
We loved our hotel, food was delicious at all times and the presentation was always enticing . We looked forward to breakfast, lunch and dinner.

Food was always so delicious and presented in an enticing manner.



Overall service was amazing as well. No complaints at all because we were well taken care of.

The tented room was not big enough but very cosy. They provided us with a baby bed for little miss traveler, so if you happen to book them you can request for one.

The camp is within a bush but very safe, quite tranquil and perfect for a short getaway for bush getaway lovers. At night you hear all the animals making noise around but the tents are very safe and well secured.

Overall I can say we enjoyed our stay. I miss the monkeys stealing our snacks at the swimming pool area and us chasing them away with a catapult. Sadly I can,t find most pics from this trip, not sure what happened.



Also it’s said to be a luxury tented camp but if I compare it to all the luxury tented camps we have been to, I would give it a 6 out of 10. That does not mean it was bad, it was really good and we had an exciting and adventurous weekend but my comparison is of it against the other luxury tented camps.


I hope you found this post helpful. Feel free to contact me if you need any more information.

eve j, the traveling mom.

The hunt for a heated swimming pool |The Traveling Mom.

Beautiful Nairobi

As a mom to a toddler who loves swimming, it took me some time to locate the nearest heated swimming pool around me. But when on a chilly weekend little traveler wanted to swim and we not being fans of cold water in this cold Nairobi, we started hunting down a heated pool. Turns out one was just in my neighborhood, how cool! So does your child love to swim but when you think how cold it is outside you cringe? Have you been wondering where to take them for a ‘hot” swimming in this cold Nairobi season? Or even during ‘summer’? I found this heated pool which is at the roof top of the Four Points by Sheraton Nairobi Hurlingham.

The swimming pool is heated throughout and once you enter you do not want to come out. The pool is open from morning and is closed at 6pm. We were there swimming from 12pm and left at almost 7pm, yes it’s that fun and addictive.

The changing rooms are clean and you are also given very clean, large and warm towels and lockers too to store your items.

Generally the hotel is really nice with a lovely ambience, food was very delicious and the service was great too. There is a bar and restaurant at the rooftop as well with a very beautiful view of Nairobi.

Views.

Swimming pool charges:

• Children 500/-

• Adults 1500/-

Mom hacks:

• Food and drinks were somehow pricey (not exaggerated though) so you can always make it an after lunch plan, you go after having your lunch and just have drinks.

The food was good.

• If mom gets in the pool she will pay 1500/- so mom can save 1500/- by not entering the pool 😃

• If you need floaters just carry your own because they do not provide any at the pool.

• You can also carry pool friendly baby toys.

I decided to write this post because I know there are so many of us moms and dads who are always looking for child friendly places where we can take our outdoor loving children over the weekends and this heated swimming pool is definitely one I really loved and there are more to come in the blog.

Keep it here.

eve j, the traveling mom.

Mom and daughter camping adventure | The Traveling Mom.

The traveling mom


Hi mommies, daddies, campers and all the wanderlusters in the house! Its been a minute! Now, I have always wanted to take my little traveler on a camping adventure and last weekend we camped at Oloiden camping site in Naivasha and she won’t stop talking about it. This was her first camping experience, plus she just celebrated her 6th birthday two weeks ago so I guess it was like a second birthday party for her 6th birthday because she totally loved it.

The girls enjoying the views when they woke up the next day

My friend and I planned this fun camping trip together and because we both have busy schedules on Saturdays we planned to leave Nairobi for Naivasha last Saturday at 2pm after we were both done with work, but girls being girls, we left at 3.30pm for a one night girl’s trip; my friend, her daughter, little traveler and I.

It’s the rainy season so before booking we had to make calls to three different camping sites to make inquiries and that’s how we picked Oloiden because they mentioned it hadn’t rained in close to two weeks in Naivasha.

Our tent
Don’t be fooled, it’s so huge inside.

Our drive was smooth, not a single stop by the too many policemen who crowd that route. We arrived at our camp at 5.30pm and found our tent already pitched and our bedding already spread neatly for us.

My friend and I had both camped at Oloiden before and we both agree it’s one of the best there is, the views are to die for especially early in the morning when you wake up. Because of this, sometimes it gets really crowded (it was really full the last time I was there) and that was my worry even as we booked them last week, mostly because we had kids with us but it’s safe to say we had the camp almost to ourselves and the children slept like the babies they are as we listened to music around the bonfire.

Oloiden camp is beautiful

When booking Oloiden, there are two sides. They will ask you upon booking which side you prefer; there is the quiet side where no noise or music is allowed then there is the side where you are free to make noise, play music and play all the noisy games you want which is the place I guess most of us love. Last Saturday I think I only saw about 10 tents on our side; the noisy side. The quiet side would also work best for families who don’t like the drunken noise lol.

Things to note:

• The tent is waterproof so even when it rains the rain won’t get inside your tent.

• If you love views like me book them early (we paid our 50% deposit the same day we decided we are going camping).

Early morning

• It gets really cold at night, so carry heavy duvet, blankets and bed sheets if you want your own( they provide very light blankets) and warm clothing for you and the babies. Don’t forget leg warmers too.

• Carry Bluetooth speakers if you will be playing music through the night. Music will keep you entertained.

• Carry your power banks, anything you want to charge you will pay for (I didn’t remember to ask how much).

• Don’t forget to carry a flashlight; it will come in handy at night. We forgot to carry one and had to hire theirs which are electric and didn’t even last 3 hours but we paid KSH 500 for it.

• Carry drinking water and drinks.

• If you are planning to cook on site, plan and come up with a list of everything you will need then shop before you travel, the shops are a bit far.

• If you have a meko gas you can carry it. If you need three stones for cooking talk to the men helping you to light the fires, they will help but it’s not part of the package.

Our van as our store

• Carry cooking pots/sufurias, utensils and literally anything you think you will need for cooking, the camp doesn’t provide them.

• There is a specific area for cleaning your utensils complete with tap water, soap and a sponge unless you want to carry your own.

• If it’s the rainy season please don’t forget an umbrella, we carried one just in case.

• The toilets are very clean and child friendly as well.

• The bathrooms are clean too and the showers have hot water, just don’t forget to carry your toiletries.

• The camp sells food; lunch, breakfast or dinner you can buy it all from them if you don’t want to cook.

• Checkout they say is 12pm but we left at 2pm (they are not so strict on it).

More views

• If you have never camped at Oloiden before, they allow you to go with your car up to next to your tent and that’s one thing I really love about this camp. Park and operate from your car, removing only what you need and remember to always lock the car.

• Beware of monkeys, they didn’t disturb us much, but they are there always waiting to devour your delicious food.

• Don’t forget to carry small toys for the children but the camp also has a small play area that can keep them busy.

• We had a van which really made work easy because we had lots of space to carry almost everything we needed but any car will do.

• Lastly when I went for camping alone, I didn’t carry much as I did when I went with the little one, but it was totally worth the experience.

The Charges:

They charge according to the tent you want which depends on the number you are.

For example, the tent we took is a quad tent and it can sleep up to four adults so well. We were two adults and two kids and we had more than enough space. We paid KSH 4500 for the quad tent. Please note that there are different tents and even bigger ones than the quad tent.

Breakfast loading

If you are three or four people (kids or adults) in a quad tent you pay 4500/- if you are only two in the quad tent you will pay 3000/-

My total budget:

I spent a total of KSH 6000 on this trip, same to my friend.

Camping to me is one of the most affordable ways to travel and explore Kenya. My little traveler enjoyed and it was a good time for her and my friend’s daughter to bond.

Thanks always for stopping by.

eve j, the traveling mom.

The Cliff, Lake Nakuru National Park.

The Cliff and all its beauty.

Hey getaway lovers! As a huge fan of tembea Kenya, I am always excited to find places to explore locally, so when I came across photos of The Cliff on the internet 6 months ago, I knew that’s where my husband and I would head to for a getaway to celebrate our big anniversary.

I contacted them, they sent me a quote and I immediately began planning.

The Cliff is a luxury tented camp located within Lake Nakuru National Park. It is built at the edge of a cliff with all the tents facing a beautiful view of the Lake. If you love the bush and a wilderness experience then The Cliff is definitely for you.

The tented camps.

Some points to note:

– To be at The Cliff you pay park fee at Lake Nakuru National Park according to the number of days you will be staying. I.e. every 24 hours. For example if you are two people and you book 5 days at The Cliff, you pay Lake Nakuru National Park fee per person times 5 days.

– The journey from Nairobi to Nakuru took us

   3 hours.

– The Cliff has different rates depending on the month and days of the week, for example Mondays-Thursdays have a different price and Fridays -Sundays have a different price as well.

– It is about 35 minutes from the main gate of the park.

– It only has 10 tented camps.

– We booked directly with the hotel and they don’t take deposit, you pay the full amount when booking.

– The Cliff does not allow babies 11 years and below.

Getting there:

We left Nairobi at 11am, arriving at Lake Nakuru National Park around 2.15pm and started with sorting payments at the park gate before proceeding to the hotel.

The luxury tented camps:

The Cliff only has 10 tented camps and from outside the tents look like any other luxury tented camp but the interior decor is what is outstanding, a job perfectly done, I can say chic and modern. The views from the room are also to die for. My husband’s comment was: “This is absolutely 100% value for our money” and I agree too.

Oh how I loved this room. This is how
all the ten rooms
look like.

Food:

The food which was a la carte menu throughout for breakfast, lunch and dinner was delectable all times. The service was A1, fine dining at its best.

I looked forward to
meal times.
Oh delicious!

Sunrise:

While at the Cliff, you get to see a very beautiful sunrise and they wake you up in the morning at 6.30am to view the beauty.

View from my bed.
Beautiful sunrise

Lake view:

All the ten tented camps face Lake Nakuru, they are exactly at the edge of the Lake; the reason for the name “The Cliff.” The view is extremely beautiful and from our camp we got an excellent view, I’m 100% certain you get this magnificent view from whichever tent you are allocated.

Views

Swimming pool:

We literally had the infinity pool to ourselves; we spent most of our time swimming and just lounging.

Game drive:

Attractions;

Out of Africa Lookout; gives you the best views in the park.
Baboon Cliff; also gives you good views and is also a picnic site.
Makalia Falls; a beautiful waterfall.

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Me at Makalia Falls back in 2012.

Bird watching; home of flamingos and pelicans.

Check in at the Cliff is strictly 12pm, so if you are having a short stay or if you happen to get there early enough I’d recommend you start by having an early morning self-game drive then later proceed to the hotel. If you have enough time then you can slot the game drive on a separate day.

Game drive
On our game drive

We did a mid-morning game drive on our second day. The sun was already all out so we didn’t spot many animals but a game drive is always just fun no matter the number you get to see. The park is also very dry and so dusty, so could be the animals are just not there or they were hiding because of the scorching sun.

Budget breakdown:

– Park costs: KSH 860/- per person every 24 hours. For the car you pay KSH300/- for up to 6 sitter vehicle every 24 hours.

– Hotel cost: We booked directly with the Cliff and it cost KSH38, 000/- per day on full board basis.

– We drove – fuel cost KSH4, 000 which lasted the entire trip.

– Since its full board we only spent on alcohol. Beers were 400/- and a glass of house wine was 400/- as well.

Recommendation:

If you are coming from Nairobi and you do not see the need of going up to Nakuru, you can branch through Lanet. Use the Lake Nakuru National Park Lanet Gate, it saves you some time. We used it on our last day when traveling back.

We went up to Nakuru Town
then used the
main gate.
But you can access the park
through the Lanet
gate.

What I loved most:

-The morning sunrise!  It was breathtaking.

-Space! The tents are so spacious, organized and beautifully done.

-Also they remembered that we were there for our anniversary and they did their best to make us have a blast.

Breakfast time
The camps are all
right at the
lake.

Challenges:

-We felt bad leaving our little wanderluster behind 😊

-On our way back, we had a small issue with our car and we had to find a mechanic to check it.

Verdict:

We enjoyed our stay and our anniversary was super amazing. You will love it.

Feel free to contact me or ask me any questions, I’m always ready to help.

eve j

Kisumu in 60 hours and Kit Mikayi Adventure.

The giant

Born and raised in the Lakeside city, Kisumu is one of my favorite places to visit and it is very close to my heart. You don’t live in a place for two decades and don’t get attached to it in a way. It always feels great to be back home.

I fall in the group of people who were born in Kisumu, went to primary school in Kisumu; high school’d within Kisumu County, later went to College in Kisumu and then finally left Kisumu for greener pastures. I have never known if I should be proud of this or not, but how loyal can one be? 😎 Continue reading “Kisumu in 60 hours and Kit Mikayi Adventure.”