Kenya Pt. 5

October 31, 2013 | Personal, Photography, Travel

The last Kenyan post, I promise! :)

It’s been a longer series than I’d anticipated – it’s hard to believe we were actually only away for 2.5 weeks! There was just so much packed into that time, and you’ve now seen the photos to prove it hehe.

And just to give credit where it’s due – many of the photos below were taken by my talented Dad. Thanks Pa :)

Kenya_22Our next stop (after the Kakamega Forest) was at a working farm called Kembu. It was magical! I won’t go into too much detail, but we all thoroughly enjoyed ourselves there, wandering around the farm, hanging out with the dogs, and chatting to the cows and horses. At night, we’d all go out with our torches and scour the hedges around the farm for chameleons. We weren’t all that good at finding them ourselves, but the staff were all too happy to help :)

They also had a local knitting cooperative there called The Kanana Knitters who knit and sell gorgeous soft toys in their shop and overseas… definitely worth a visit!

Kenya Pt 5. Kenya Pt 5. Kenya Pt 5.

After leaving Kembu, we headed up Mount Kenya to Castle Forest Lodge, a lovely B&B perched on the mountainside. We couldn’t see Mount Kenya for the fog unfortunately, but I’m sure it’d be spectacular when it’s visible! As you can see from the photos below, it was a bit cold and wet, but still gorgeous!

Kenya Pt 5.

Our last stop before heading home was a very special one to us – we went back to the village where we’d lived 16 years ago. We’d all been looking forward to it I think, to see what we remembered, and what had changed. We visited our old school (the kids were all on holidays, but the school itself looked very much the same)….

Kenya Pt 5.

… went back to our favourite local restaurant (T.Tot Hotel) to see if their Samosa’s are still the best in the world (they are)…

Kenya Pt 5.

… Took a walk through the markets, and did some basket shopping (unfortunately many of the shops we remember from here are now closed)…

Kenya Pt 5.

…. and we got to go back and visit our old house. We didn’t expect to get so close to it, but the lady who now lives there remembered us, and didn’t mind us coming in for a look around. The house still looked the same, but understandably the yard and surrounds had changed quite a bit. It was a little bit sad to see that most of the things we remembered from there had now gone, but it was still such a joy to even see it again at all.

And just for the fun of it, we did a jump shot ;)

Family Jump

And so we ended the trip on a really special note, coming full circle from a time we’ve all remembered and cherished. Needless to say it was very difficult to say goodbye to Africa again, and to my family. Until the next big trip! ;)

And in case you missed them, see the previous Kenya posts here:  Part 1.  Part 2.  Part 3.  Part 4.

Kenya Pt. 4

October 25, 2013 | Personal, Photography, Travel

I’m sure you’re all over seeing the photos from my Kenyan trip by now (I’m that horrible person who forces you to sit through every single photo they ever took!) but I promise, there’ll only be one more post about it after this one. Hang in there! Hehe.

After leaving Maasai Mara, we headed up into the Kenyan Highlands and into tea country (we stayed in Kericho). Ah, it was absolutely stunning! Such a vast difference from the dry, dusty plains of the Mara, it was lush and green, quite cold and a little wet.

We organised to take a tour through one of the large tea plantations and factories (which was really fascinating!), and were taken on a tour of a flower farm as an added bonus (did you know they grow loads of roses and carnations for export in Kenya?). It really was a spectacular area and isn’t on the usual tourist routes which was a nice change!

Kenya KenyaKenya

After two nights spent surrounded by these beautiful fields of green we moved on, heading for Kakamega Forest and the place we’d all come back to visit. 16 years ago when my family lived in Kenya, we’d made a weekend trip to Rondo Retreat, a stunning colonial guesthouse (and cottages) nestled in the Kakamega Forest. At the time, my parents had told us children (I was 12 at the time) that for their 25th wedding anniversary we had to send them back to Rondo Retreat. Well, we didn’t quite make their 25th anniversary (we were all too broke) but we did manage it for their 30th. And so there we were.

If you’re planning a trip to Kenya – I couldn’t recommend Rondo Retreat enough! Think sprawling lawns, grand old colonial cottages, tea and cake served on your veranda each afternoon and bird watching walks through the forest. Bliss. I don’t think my photos do it justice!

KenyaKenya

On one morning while we were there, we took a drive to a small town about 2 hours away to meet an old friend and his family, who we hadn’t seen since we’d left Kenya all those years ago. Cephas is a minister, and runs a church in his local town – and we’d been invited to be part of their Sunday service. Wow.. What a wonderful experience it was! Not only was it amazing to meet up with these friends after so much time, but we got to experience a very special part of their lives.

After the service as we all headed outside, we managed to snap a few pics of some of the kids.. I think they were all quite curious about these “Muzungu” at their church! Hehe. Aren’t they the sweetest?

Kenya

Bunch of cuties! They were very excited to see themselves on my camera screen :)

And with that, I’ll leave you all for the weekend! Do you have plans? I’ve got myself buried in Christmas DIY supplies at the moment, so I think at least some of the weekend will be testing out ideas. Fingers crossed some of them work ;)

Hope you have a nice weekend too! x

Kenya Pt. 3

October 10, 2013 | Personal, Travel

As the weeks go by and our Kenyan holiday gets further and further behind us, going back and looking through the photos becomes even more special somehow. It keeps the trip fresh in my mind, helping me to remember all the little moments we had there, not just the big picture stuff. I hope you’re enjoying seeing these photos as much as I’m enjoying going back through them and sharing them with you!

Kenya Pt 3

Part 3 is all about our visit to a Maasai village. As we were leaving Maasai Mara, we decided to stop at one of the traditional villages open to visitors. We knew it was going to be a bit touristy (the villages that let tourists in generally know how to put on show), but we all thoroughly enjoyed ourselves! We were shown inside one of their dung huts, given a singing and jumping presentation by the men of the village, and sung to by the women.

Right from the beginning of our trip, my Brother had suggested that in every place we go, we should try and do a family jump shot (all jumping in the air as the photo is taken). It quickly became a tradition, so at the Maasai village it was only right that we do a Maasai-style jump (arms down) with the men of the village. It was hilarious! Actually, it was a great ice-breaker, everyone was laughing and jostling for a position in the line, and after each jump the Maasai guys would check the photos to see which of them was the highest.

It was probably one of the trip highlights for me :)

Kenya Pt 3Kenya Pt 3 Kenya Pt 3 Kenya Pt 3

After leaving the village we drove up into the Kenyan Highlands, into the tea-growing area. Such a vast difference to the planes of Maasai Mara! I’ll save that for Part 4 though :)

Kenya Pt. 2

September 19, 2013 | Personal, Travel

Allo! I hope you’re all ready for lots of photos! :)

Part 2 of our Kenyan adventure took place in the incredible Maasai Mara. We spent two nights in a tented camp and spent our days tripping around the game reserve on safari.

It was amazing, truly. Standing in the truck, heads out the top with the wind it our faces as we drove around searching for animals hidden in the grass and trees. We were lucky enough to see a few lions, one of which was with her 3 cubs, cheetahs, loads of wildebeest, rhinos, hyena and giraffe, not to mention the ever-changing Mara landscape. It was spectacular.

Maasai MaraMaasai MaraMaasai MaraMaasai MaraMaasai MaraMaasai MaraWe also got to visit a Maasai village, but I’ll show you some photos of that next time.

And in case you missed it, you check out Part 1 here!

 

Kenya Pt. 1

September 12, 2013 | Personal, Travel

Good morning friends! :)

I’ve finally finished going through our photos from Kenya – yay!!

I’ll be sharing them over the coming weeks in slightly more manageable bite-sized posts, so I hope you’ll enjoy following along! It was such an incredible trip, I can’t even begin to tell you.. hopefully the photos will speak for themselves :)

Rift Valley

We’d been planning this trip within my family for almost 12 months prior to leaving (unbeknownst to my Mum), and it was hard to believe the day had finally arrived when it did! Not only was this going to be a holiday, but also a reunion – with my family, and with Kenya.

16 years ago my family moved to a small town in Kenya for 6 months with my Dad’s work, and this trip was the first time any of us had been back. It was only 6 months, but it’s an extremely special and cherished part of all our lives, something we’ll always remember. Going back was a chance to see old friends again, experience the changing country, and share this part of our lives with our significant others. It was special :)

This set of photos is from the first few days… After arriving in Nairobi (and surprising Mum, which was fantastic!) we headed down into the Rift Valley to Lake Nakuru and Lake Naivasha. We did an amazing game drive around Lake Nakuru for most of a day spotting all sorts of wildlife (zebra, baboons, buffalo, rhino, and giraffe) and taking in the incredible views. We stayed the night at a place by Lake Naivasha, and the following day did a boat trip on the lake to see some hippos :)

Africa1Africa2 Africa3 Africa4Part 2 will be Masai Mara! :)