The Samburu Safari

Around 30 years ago my parents used to live in Samburu…. well that’s just about the inspiration as to why in January 2010 Bunny, my number ONE best friend and I decided to go to Samburu , just to see what it would offer. It was going to be a long ass road trip but I had done worse so I was ready for it!

Wednesday night I packed all my paraphernalia, most importantly my bikini as we had been told by our contact from the hotel that the weather up in Northern Kenya was great and they they had a fabulous swimming pool too! B and I left Nairobi on Thursday morning around 8 a.m and it was a smooth ride to Nanyuki , we got there minutes past midday. Finding an Isiolo jav wasn’t a problem and soon we were on our way there.  Glad to write that we didn’t have any major incidences up to this juncture, well apart from a Taliban looking guy who kept staring at us with red eyes. We got so freaked out Bunny asked him if he had a problem (that was brave of her, what if he had a gun?) then he acted like he couldn’t comprehend Kiswahili, oh maybe he couldn’t? Nway Bunny even called her dad – the DC for Isiolo, too bad he was in Westlands, Nairobi at that time. We were that scared of that man that we thought Bunny’s dad would send us someone when we got to Isiolo ha ha ha but we made it out safe!

When we got to Isiolo, it was evident that we were in Northern Kenya. The sun was blaring HOT! There were hardly any water vendors, very strange! The stage where we alighted wasn’t the same one where Samburu javs were located so we had to ask around. We all know how Kenyans can fuck you up with directions, but the people in Isiolo must have taken the award for the worst direction givers! The first cab man we asked for directions to the Samburu javs told us that it was so far, we had to take his cab and he would charge us 1000/= bob!  Really!? While the rest of the people we asked said it wasn’t far at all! “Unaona ile kitu ya Safaricom, tembea tu ni hapo mbele” and another one said,”Mmpite hapo  nyuma kwa sababu ni karibu”

I remember thanking God we had carried shades, that sun wasn’t kidding at all! In pursuit of tracing the stage, we passed by the Isiolo mosque and I think it looked too fab, had to take a photo of it  “Hapo tu mbele” turned out to have been an almost 30 mins walk, well we finally got there but so fucking drained, thinking about it we wished we had taken the damn cab! 30 minutes of walking in that sun felt like 20 days in the Kalahari desert wah! I think.

That Samburu matatu really could have been the SI unit for kuchapa, it was really run down and it was the only one. Kinda felt like a deja vu from the “The maasai mara safari “dub dub” bus  LOL” We got there when the one that looked like a mat had just left so we had no choice but to take that old junk. So we got into the mat and waited patiently for it to chrome, then it was full but we weren’t departing azyet because more people were getting into the mat so that the 9 seater jav had almost 15 passengers plus a litu baby boy carrying a cabbage! He was in school uniform and  looked like he would pass for an 8 year old! I saw his dad, I presumed waving him goodbye telling him to go read hard, and then he left, GOSH!

Some idiots brought up an argument with the makanga after having  refused to pay the 150/= fare to Samburu, they were really pissing me off! You know what was pissing me off too? The smell of every other persons stinking sweat in that damn HEAT, obviously deo isn’t a vocabulary in Isiolo!

Well after having burned a good 30 mins, they agreed to pay the money and we finally departed for Samburu, fukes! I wonder why someone would refuse to pay 150/= for a 3 hour ride smh!  No sooner had we left than I realized that the number of miraa sacks in the jav, you know like passengers were almost 20 % to the rest of the occupants ha ha I swear! Half the passengers were carrying sacks of miraa, I understand that one of the main trade commodities to and fro Isiolo/ Samburu is miraa, khat. Someone in the jav was even carrying a crate of eggs and the rest were chewing out loud that miraa! That was a funny scenario! BTW the litu boy carrying a cabbage alighted somewhere along the way and by himself ,I really wondered where he was going as I didn’t see any buildings around L Hope he got there safe nway!

It was quite a rough journey especially from the time we crossed over to Samburu. Apparently the legendary River Ewaso Nyiro separates  Isiolo district from Samburu so as soon as we crossed some bridge, we were in Samburu! When we alighted at the shopping centre which really looked like Courage, the cowardly dog’s county for lack of a better explanation, we waited for the hotel’s driver to come pick us!

The drive to the hotel was roughly some 15mins and just a few minutes past 4 pm we arrived at our final destination! I understand that the Samburu lodge was the first lodge ever to pitch up in Samburu, well am glad to report that old is gold! We were first received by some nice COLD tropical juice, they must have forgotten about the dancers LOL! But seriously first thing I noticed was the bar and the dining area, they were both in open air! Right across the bar was the lovely view of river Ewaso Nyiro, see! So after unpacking our bags in the fab room with a fab big ass net  and freshening up, we went to the bar to have dinner and drinks!  P.s that place is deafening silent, apart from the sound of the water waves and the crocodiles gnashing their bones and meat!

As you can imagine, January isn’t typically an ordinary peak season for tourism, so there weren’t lots of guests at the lodge except for us and a group of white old folks who we saw having dinner that night. We later found out that they were leaving the next morning and that they were friends who had visited the lodge first 20 years ago and they had come back there to celebrate 20 years of their friendship. If you ask me, that was some special shit right there *SOB*

Nway that bar area basically became our joint that whole time, except for breakfast and proper dinner time when everyone had to be in the dining area because of the most notorious food snatching monkeys I have ever seen! There was a guy at the lodge called 78 (only in Samburu smh) who’s job description was “monkey chaser” I kid you, NOT! See that’s a pixx of 78 at work, his work is to chase monkeys and sometimes hit them with the bladder we used to call ”fare” when we were kids, remember? I found out that the monkeys are biologically known as the black faced vervet, google that! Look at this sign at the foot path leading to the dining area! LOL like they would read!

On Friday evening we went for a game drive right into Samburu National game reserve! Apart from the always nice to see big 5, I remember our guide explaining to us a mixed up slutty theory of how lions mate over a long period of time with so many lionesses and if they don’t get food or rather if the lionesses don’t feed them they would die over this period as they never hunt over that period! Well I guess he never knew but national geographic really isn’t my ordinary cup of tea!

I think Samburu is almost as hot if not hotter than Msa temperatures! Then unlike Msa where it’s always hot, in Samburu temperatures start to rise in the night like at 9pm. Then it starts to feel like a 1pm in Nairobi, then strangely enough after dinner and drinks till about 2 a.m, you find yourself up at around 6 a.m latest because the damn birds are probably already singing their damn hearts out loud, or the damn sun is right out at that time thus seeping through the windows. But funniest thing is you never wake up tired even after a night of indulgence, the 6a.m almost feels like an 11 a.m in Nairobi. First thing we had all those mornings was a bottle of blackice for me and a malt for Bunny by our padio before the real breakfast/shower! You wake up thirsty!

Saturday was swimming day, ooohhh that was great there were only around 5 of us in the pool J See some of the pixx we took and yeah that’s just how bright the sun was! After swimming, it was late lunch, shower, nap, bar & bonding, when we saw some 3 HOT white guys arrive! It felt almost suicidal that these blokes were arriving on our last night, so much for any chances of getting to know each other! Nway  in the evening we hardly saw them over dinner, they were probably resting from their trip… #bummer

Nway  we proceeded to the dining area for our last dinner as we were scheduled to leave on Sunday morning! Eating and bumming isn’t really the best combi so I wasn’t much in my eating element! Though Bunny insisted that I had to eat a full course dinner just because it was our last night! So she ordered her delicacies and I had mine, think I was having fish fillet and something! There was an annoying kid on the table just next to ours, that kid couldn’t stop running around the dining, making noise and at the same time playing with food, as the mum kept trying to convince him to eat. That was so annoying because ideally kids should sit DOWN when eating and most importantly they shouldn’t talk with food in their mouths let alone run around eating!

I remember it got to a point when I was too full I almost couldn’t take any food any more but Bunny kept cajoling me to finish the food, just in case I would get hungry later as we were to embark on a drinking plan! I was okay until that damn kid tripped and fell in front of me and vomited his food! Bunny looked at me and I think she knew exactly what was going to happen next and she was like, ”Rosey,don’t! Do not!” I got so disgusted, I was going to vomit too, I could feel it coming so Bunny was like, ”Relax, breath relax just breath”  And I was holding my mouth with my hands just praying, that was scary, disgusting but funny! Lesson learnt, never try overeating next to an obnoxious kid!

Nway Sunday morning we went to the gift shop where I got some lovely gifts for family and friends, funny I got my other best friend Chim, a freaky bird made of some stone then I broke the damn bird’s ears even before I gave him the gift  But he still appreciated, I think. Bunny’s dad was sending his driver to come pick us from the lodge, so as we were chilling for him at the reception the white boys shirtless with awesome sexy tattoos passed us on their way to the dining for breakfast from their morning game drive! Sulululululululu! We hardly heard them “good morning ”at us as we were just staring haha. That was a silly moment!

Nway at exactly 10 a.m the driver arrived, we made  a stopover at B’s dad’s house in Isiolo for lunch then we safely got back to Nairobi in our comfort this time  I loved Samburu, I mean it’s the only place where you get to dine with cute annoying moneys being chased at by a dude called 78 while at the same time viewing cute fat ass elephants drinking water by the Ewasso Nyiro river just across your dining area J  I would do that again! Special shout out to 78, Mr. Karanja and my (BBF) BestestBestFriend, BUNNY xx.

To view more pictures on this trip, refer to my Facebook page (pix from samburu)

The Mombasa mini-safari

So its Friday the 6th of Aug and at exactly midday my KBC producer calls me and says, “Hey young girl (as he calls me) i need you to go to Mombasa tomorrow morning to cover the beach party and be back on Sunday to record the show!”  That right there, was great to hear because am a traveller, i love different places, i love road trips and goddaymmit hadn’t been to Mombasa since i could remember, must have been almost 10 years! Yeah it had been that fuccccccccccking long! Before that i almost practically lived there with my sis, well till she moved to Nairobi nway… that’s another story, another day!

After spending Friday afternoon crazy battling with the BBC’s Topcat2 with  my girl Wanjeri in attendance, we finally leave the office at around 6pm for Nairobi’s downtown to book tickets for the morning bus! Unfortunately we couldn’t do this trip together as she had a must attend wedding for the next day but i sure convinced my cousin Miss JJT to accompany me 🙂 When we got to downtown, it was certainly hard to get them bourgeoisie buses as they were all fully booked till sat afternoon but we got lucky and got the last seats on the Sat 8.30 a.m Mash bus! Na katika pita pita zetu, some costarian man tried to convince us to take the LOL express, and i was like LOL Express, really? No thanx, here is the evidence 🙂 LOL, see?

So when i got home, watched kiasi Greys Anatomy, then my 3 year old nephew Chaz helped me pack! I guess he tricked me into jacking my swag, he kept asking, “Hii ni nini?” “Hii ni ya nini?” For almost everything, packing turned out to be kindergarten class till he blackdout, but i love him! See that’s a picture of him and I a few months ago….

Saturday morning at 8 a.m we were in the bus, ready set to go! For the record, if you wanna drive-fly to Coast always take the Mash bus, believe it or not, we were at Mtito wa Ndei at 11a.m! That driver was literally racing against time, geez! I thank God the seat belts were tight and intact! We were in Mombasa just minutes shy to 2pm, 🙂 Yaaaay!

Now, you know you just got to Mombasa when all of a sudden you see palm trees, temperatures are humid and the sun is shining mild, not as harsh as Nairobi’s! First thing was check into the Coast bus office to book the Sunday 10 a.m bus back to Nairobi then next pittstop was Tamarind hotel.

I decided that we would first take a cab to the famous,”Mombasa Tusks” so my cameraman would take some establishing shots of them, then we would head to the hotel. With the luggage and hunger, all i could think of was food, shower, food and food! We literally grabbed the first cab we saw! I asked the driver to take us to the Tusks then to Tamarind, then the went, ” Huko ni Summerlink basi, hapa hamna Tamarind!” We tried to explain to him that we were going to Tamarind, but he was insisting that it was Summerlink, I even had to call our hosts to confirm whether it was Tamarind or Summerlink (which made me look so silly) and turns out it was the latter, so i decided that he would only take us to the Tusks seeming like it’s the only place he knew well. I said, “Okay basi tupeleke kwa tusks za Mombasa ,” then he said okay hapo “Tusksss” ni sawa. My cameraman even went ahead to tell him, “pembe za Mombasa” and in no time we were heading there! Alas! But when the cab  stopped and the guy said, “Haya leta pesa mshafika,” we were at Tuskys SUPERMARKET!? That’s when we realized that he thought we meant Tuskys, but we actually meant “TUSKS” hahaha!! After a half scared hearty laugh as the cab guy wasn’t amused at all, we had to further explain to him that we were going to the Pembe za Mombasa! And he went on ranting, “Basi nyinyi watu wa Nairobi hamwongei vizuri, hatupatani” I thought he was going to hit me and Miss JJT, he was so mad i could see smoke coming from his ears LOL. But if we were going to Tuskys, wouldn’t we  have said supermarket then…?? SMDH but that was very funny! I later found out that Summerlink was an uptown street, haha labda tulikaa kama wasichana high class 🙂

After the cab guy literally dumped us at the tusks, baada ya shoot we took a TukTuk to Tamarind, Nyali. OOOHHHHH now that was a rocky ride 🙂 One evidently noticable thing in sharp contrast with Nairobi was THE MEN! Amen! Am telling you, all of them were eye candy-licious! Even the TukTuk driver across ours in the traffic! Ooh that was really great site seeing if you ask me! We paid 600 bob to Tamarind and later my Mombasa friends to be, said that we had been overcharged, ati we should have paid at most 250bob but nway it was worth the thrill!

I had never been to Tamarind… I think the best thing about it was definitely the view of the ocean from the rooms, check that out 🙂 I also met a couple of friends from Nairobi at the hotel, namely Philip Ogola and Stevens Muendo and oh gosh they are bad news when it comes to partying! (Lets leave it at that) The rooms were quite lovely as well, we showered and freshened up right before the scrumptious dinner! The weather was so pleasant and entertaining, I thanked God i had carried my shorts! Over dinner we met a couple of new acquaintances who we were later to spend the evening with at the party….

When the sun rises as early as it does in Mombasa, it would only make sense for events to start later than usual, if that makes any sense. Maybe the theory as to why when we got to the beach party mins past midnight, the main performers hadn’t started doing their thing. Juliani the first act got to the stage just mins past 1 a.m! It was after 4 a.m when the last performers, Necessary Noize got off the stage! Talk about ku-party hadi chee!

You would think that we would retire after such hard partying, not to forget how Juliani’s performance drains one of energy and the juuuuuuuuuuuuice but , NO! We were checking into Fullmoon club, Mombasa’s fresh baby! As we approached the club,  i couldn’t  hear any “boom twaff” as the custom in Nairobi! I thought to my drunk mind,”why would these folks bring us to a dead club?” My friend, kuingia ndani kumbe ilikua ni bonge la club! Check, the club is soundproof  (i.e the walls are padded like those of a studio) meaning the sound output is excellent, just had to expound on that for those who don’t comprehend! The club has 4 floors, yes FOUR, and all AC’d up! Carni has how many floors again? A letter to Nairobian clubs, having no ac is not an excuse ati because Msa is hot, temps in all clubs are hot! The couch in the club are made of the funky zebra print and 98% of the dudes up in the club were super HOT!!

In summary, the major difference between clubbing in Nairobi and in the state of the art Fullmoon club is: In Mombasa, no ordinary person would go to such an uptown club, well we didn’t see any funny looking person there, unlike in Nairobi where you would still find an Eastlands “orbb” in the highest of the VIP’s clubs! Then its only in Msa where people on the dance floor don’t actually bend over when “bend over” plays in the club, that was wierd! Eventually, we left the club at “i dont know” time maybe 5.30 a.m there! You know how after excessive indulgence, events that happen therein all become the nice misty blue and for some reason me and MissJJT ended up not sleeping at Tamarind but at Milele beach hotel which was equally amazing! I just remember them asking me to sign in at the reception.

When we got to the room, i blackout (duh) funny thing i was up at 7a.m fresh BUT thirsty as hell and ready for breakfast! The first pixx in this post, i took it while at the breakfast table, that was the view outside! Here are some additional pixx i took that morning at the breakfast table! After that, we packed our shit, took a cab to Tamarind to get my cameraman! I still managed to do a standup (thats me tryna fight the wind! It was like a cyclone) by the amazing scenery of the Tamarind bridge (Grapevine is today in Mombasa nyef nyef nyef, that’s called a standup, tryna school you guys as well) Then we headed out and made it on time to town for the 10a.m bus!

I know it sounded like a good 3 days, well it felt like it but in reality it was an amazing 30 hours give or take! There’s not much to write home about the journey back as it was all nostalgia, nostalgia and nostalgia 😦 This post is titled the mini-msa safari because i must re-do that in actual 3 days or more 🙂 All in all, it was great working & partying  hard in the beautiful town of Mombasa, not to mention i met and made friends with some very nice people! Special shoutout goes out to my girl Wanjeri for the help, MissJJT for the company and msa peeps, Hassan Faisal, Philip, Stevens, Erick, 22, Pharta and Rama! We must do it all over again!

BONUS! That’s me and blood MissJJT 🙂 love that girl, look at her!!