SAY YES!!

A wonderful thought

PASSION

IMG-20170730-WA0013 Virginia: Hey! Let’s Go! Me: Yes!!

They say all it takes is a yes and you will have an epic experience, but they also say plan your travel for a smooth experience. Which of the two sounds fun? mmh, to me epic sounds epic . It’s important to plan our travel but it’s even more enjoyable to once in a while (if not always) to give in to your desires and engage in unplanned adventure.

From experience, my friends asks me “Invite me on your next trip, I’ll be happy to join you”, I’d say I will. Friday evening (around 9pm) I get info of a day trip happening the next day, and am like, I’m in, ‘ndani, ndani, ndaani!!! I’d say. Being a good friend I immediately call my pal to inform him of the trip all along being positivethat he will jump on the opportunity as I have…

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Come One Come All

When Kenya got the rights to host the World Under-18 Championships i saw an opportunity to be closer to the experience of attending world cup or any world’s major sport event (you can imagine my excitement of doing the mexican wave in the glare of the world and on my home country) and what made me happy was that it was set for 4 days dated July 12-16 at Kasarani Stadium also known as ”Home Of Heros” which i have had a taste of it during the Pedal kart Race where we had 16 hours of fun at Kasarani.

As days went by, more urge came to me to attend this event as soon as i got to know that this event would be the final edition of the World U18 Championships and so great to Kenya, a country that has had a good share and big mention over the last 18 years ( this is like hosting the last world cup in Brazil) how befitting can that be?

As soon as the opening ceremony was on, than our President H.E Uhuru Kenyatta declared it free entrance to all Kenyans ” Come one, come all…….” those were his call to the fans of athletics.


How glad i am to have attended the 1st major track and field event to be held in Kenya since 1987 when we hosted African games. With great visitors coming to Kenya in the past few days and years From The son of Kenya Former president of America Barrack Obama to the soon visit of Jack Ma; the founder and executive chairman of Alibaba Group destined to arrive on 19th of July 2017 , Kenya has become an attractive destination for business and also Travel, i am now happy and will have it in mind for long that i attended an event that made Kenya became the 1st country in Sub Saharan Africa to host this event

It is my wish that we can host more of this and we can continue to fill our stadiums like we did during the IAAF World Under 18 Championships in Nairobi that was a 4 days extravaganza. Now i know how it feels to attend world major event. I now understand why supporters cry when their team wins, i now appreciate and respect our sportsmen and ladies. The experience made me feel so proud for being a Kenyan after hearing the address systems burst our national anthem and our sportsmen to ladies do a lap of honor.

i hope this is the first of the many world major sport events we host with hope that i live to see Kenyans break more records or even setting new ones like the one we did of the largest attendance

Hongera Team Kenya and Well done to all the teams that took part.

#ChinkuTravels

IT AIN’T JUST COMPANY

What about you?

PASSION

IMG_20170319_084902 Oldonyo-Orok Hills, Kenya-Tanzania Boarder (Namanga)

The other day I was heading home from work,boarded the bus and sat at the back in the middle seat straight at the isle, as the bus started moving i could see how the other passengers, including me of course, swung to the rhythm of the bus (in silence) as it maneuvers the potholes. One question crossed my mind at that moment, “Who would you rather travel with either from work or across the world and make it interesting ?” In the bus we are all travel companions with one route but different destinations. I realized that some of us travel in such a way, no chit chats, no chuckles, no teasing or no music (this is boring).

IMG-20170501-WA0010 Nyali, Mombasa

Travel becomes interesting when you travel with people you can bond with, talk to, laugh with, make jokes or even sing along to music …

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True Countryside To Visit

“……Why do you always travel all over?” This is one of the many questions I get from friends, family and even followers of my Travel stories. My answer is always so simple: “….I travel because I want to know my country and learn new to appreciation of how lucky I am to live or to be a visitor to a destination”

Then I ask everyone every time “…..why don’t you travel?” The answers shock me while others make me almost cry, one of my great friends once told me “…..I don’t travel because I gain nothing and travel doesn’t add value in my life but it is an expense to me for when I do travel I just spend with no gain!…..” 

Traveling helps one in many things in life like reducing stress which I mostly do by cycling or going for a nature walk to places like Karura Forest among others. I have come to appreciate and discovered how privileged I am to live in Kenya for this is one if the most beautiful country in this world, from our snow capped mountain, the panoramic views on our hills, the magnificent lakes to a well preserved Cultures that is admired all over the world

Anyway, those were my thoughts that stormed my mind as I was taking my travel curiosity to the Land where Kenyan well known politicians and even billionaires of this country have their roots in. This time round my destination was the beautiful cool and magnificent Mathioya in Muranga county where I can say its the land of milk and tea. (Yes there is a prominent leader from this area called “Wa Iria” that means “person of milk”) 
My target was to get to Aberdares cottages that I was not told that I should be so ready for more than just the cottages or my destination. 

Driving from Nairobi along the Super Highway of Thika Road and branching off to the land that lays so green and so much of an Island made me feel like I was in the Wonderful terrace farmlands if Kisoro or Rwanda. It was so green and farmlands graced every patch of this land of Muranga.

This was on an invite by my great adventure brother and a fellow Wanderlust called #TravelWithEliud and this time we got someone else onboard and she is the Mrs Kajiado county called Sation Parmuat (this lady made me have a clear picture as to why we all need to be traveling all over this country.)

We kept guessing our directions as we always lost our mind on reading the signage for the exchange of administration of this green land of the Kenyan highlands I now understand why why this and other highlands were a cake to fight for by the early settlers.

This was one of the places I have been and already got the true idea of it of being the best getaway destination since the location can only be good for you how wants to hide away from the busy life of this world and be deep in the countryside where not everyone can find you and spoil your holiday or private time away from busy life as you enjoy your break.

On getting to this magnificent and perfect getaway, I was so amazed and felt so much at home yet far from home. The views of the Kenyan countryside makes you forget the busy city and the cool breeze from River Mathioya as it roars at the foothills makes it all one of the best place to be to enjoy peace and natural environment.

The Aberdares cottages are divided into beautiful Tented rooms that are at Ksh 10,500 for double and also the solo traveller is catered for at Ksh 7,500 on single plan on full board plan. And if you are in for African and countryside feeling, there are cottages made of timber to give you the real countryside feel at same cost of the tented cottages with activities available include cycling around the countryside to even day trips to the Aberdares Ranges (but you need to arrange this before with the Management)

The rooms have got a great view of the River below the hill that hold the cottages and panoramic view of this great countryside 

making you feel the peace of being away from the city and appreciate nature.

The lodge also takes its natural theme to the Dinning area ensuring the countrside moment lives with you for as long as you call Aberdares cottages your home

 And if you want to enjoy a true home feeling, they have got a self-catering Accommodation for you. Just a kilometer or so away from the cottages on the banks of River Mathioya is where your home will be at their self-catering cottages

A true meaning of “home far from home” comes in when you step into the self-catering cottages that are two and can accommodate upto 10 people 

The interior of this self-catering cottages just make you feel at home, from the living room that is set up to give you the home feeling and peace 

To the full set up kitchen with everything you need to prepare your meals at your peace and comfort so just carry your food (carry more food you may end up here longer for the greatness it holds)

The rooms also makes this a comfortable home for relaxation with natural lights during the day with the welcoming views of Mathioya River just outside with the roaring of its water brushing the river bed as though signing a song to you in nature based chorus

There number is cared for as the two rooms have got enough for your family and also friends (if they love to travel) so don’t worry

I already have an idea of where my getaways will be based to the depth of Kenyan countryside with peace and a place I can feel the true meaning of “Home Far From Home”

Getting here I will give the easiest way, as you enjoy the super highway of Thika, branch off to Muranga town, enjoy the farmlands as you proceed  to Kangema (a place famous political sons of this country are celebrated from their great work from tarmac to electricity) and open your eyes looking out for the sign boards indicating the directions to the Aberdares cottages 

passing by the Gatunguru tea factory and few kilometers from this tea factory you will be at the gates of this amazing countryside getaway destination.

Am greatful to my brother and fellow adventure seeker  #TravelWithEliud all credits goes to him

 for his invite and great camera works on the pictures to ideas not forgetting Miss Kajiado county Sation Parmuat for her company

I hope as you read this you will also not be mean as you travel but invite a friend or more to join you 

Lets travel and enjoy this Beautiful Kenya share your pictures feel the pride and become a true Domestic Travel Ambassador let more know what Kenya, Home are or even the beauty your village holds

#ChinkuTravels #HiddenKenyanGems

She was Shy, Elegant and with a big heart

Its been a month now since when we decided to take up a challenge with #TravelWithEliud 

to go back in time visiting places that many people last set foot in while in school on those amazing school trips and we named this challenge #GoingBackInMemory as we begun with #TheCityWeAssume then #TheVillageInTheCity (Bomas of Kenya) and others as we try to showcase how Nairobi as a City is a tourism destination good for day out with friends, Family or even get together which grown in us the pride of having Nairobi as a Tourism destination. 

We can’t believe it that it has taken us one month and yet we have not cover all that Nairobi can offer may be when we shall be done I will list down all great destinations we have in Nairobi then may be challenge one or everyone (starting of with my friends) to visit them all and give their experience.

As we laid out the next destination we decided to try out accessibility of these destinations by using Public transport and see how accessible they are to both those with personal available transport and those who use public means of transport like myself.

This time round our destination was a visit to a home of an amazing animal that  shy, elegant, tall, beautiful, and with a big heart. Yes they are found here near the city and just like our national park that is close to a big city so is what our destination is in similar to the park, 

few minutes from the city centre is the Giraffe Centre that is 5 kilometers from the city centre and a place that you can feed the Giraffes at close range and learn more at the education centre.

 It was started by Jock Leslie-Melville, the Kenyan grandson of a Scottish Earl, when he and his wife Betty captured a baby giraffe to start a programme of breeding giraffe in captivity at their home in Langata home of the present centre. 

If using Public service vehicles, get a bus at Ambassador hotel plying the Langatta – Karen route and ask the conductor to drop you at Giraffe centre, it will damage your cost approximately Ksh 60 to get you there from Nairobi City Centre. When we left the city centre we had our heads peeping out of the windows admiring the green suburbs of Karen before we knew it the bus stop and the bus conductor called out the name Giraffe centre (its a common thing with Kenyan bus conductors to call you out by your destination). 

We alighted and got to walk down the road for almost 900 metres before we got to the gate of Giraffe centre and paid our fees which coated us 250 Kenya shillings. Afterwards, we got a handful of pellets and walked up to the raised platform that almost looks like a watchtower then suddenly like models on a fashion show catwalk they came, so tall and elegant. 

First to approach was Stacy (yes they all got names) with her long tongue out on my hand to get a pellet and this went on for a given time before I got the courage to feed Daisy who we were told is a shy one and doesn’t like young children 

(I thought because children are short and I got afraid thanks to my height which I feared Daisy would confuse me with a small child and give me a head bump) but she accepted me very well and had great time together.

One of the care taker told me that a giraffe doesn’t sleep for more than 5-30 minutes I. 24 hours. And they have got a big heart that measures 0.3m by 0.6m (2ft by 1ft) and weighs about 11kg (we joked that they can’t even feel a heartbreak thanks to their big heart), for the big heart they can pump as much as 76 litres of blood per minute generating a blood pressure 3 times greater than that of a human for this, the neck  has specialized valves in the altery and veins that interrupt the blood flow to regulate blood pressure.

After the great time with Daisy and her friends (or can I say her sisters?) 

We got to enjoy a nature trail just opposite the main entrance of the giraffe centre that took us about 1-2 hours enjoying true natural environment walking along a small river, went to a view point named Ngong view point then also got to find a mini-waterfall. It felt so relaxing and a way of simple meditation breathing fresh air and no pollution.

After the wonderful nature walk experience we had to call it a day. Our adventures so far we have realised that indeed Nairobi is indeed #TheCityWeAssume 

For it has got so much to offer which we really need to experience with friends and even family members and the adventure experienced is beyond description.

Till the next adventure, I hope you are planning to travel and experience the Beautiful Kenya we have, many call it a destination, but we call it home so let’s enjoy its beautiful parks and amazing cultures it has.

Take time travel, discover and learn many lessons to new culture above be a great domestic tourist promoting #MagicalKenya. Hope to meet you on my adventures #ChinkuTravels 

What’s in my cup

Have you ever asked yourself “Whoever was first to milk a cow, what was he thinking or what made him do it?” Well, I have such questions every day and I got an answer to one of them this time was one on what is in my Cup: COFFEE.

I got an opportunity thanks to my brother and fellow travel, Adventure seeker Eliud the storyteller who tells his stories on #TravelWithEliud who this time invited me for a surprise tour which at first he was so hesitant to tell me about. “Hello Chinku tomorrow let’s meet in Kiambu…..” As usual I am this person who doesn’t ask a second question when I have an invitation for an adventure (most of my travel is always driven by curiosity to know or discover a destination) but my curiosity went a level higher when I heard I was going to Fairview Estate and I just got to gues my destination for the day seeing myself as a new home owner but it was a surprise in waiting for me.

30 minutes drive from the city along the Kiambu road that I only use when am on two wheels riding my bike into karura forest on Kiambu area, Got to the spot as directed by my brother to Kiambu Institute and hoped on a boda boda (motor bike) and was dushed  into natural environment with farmlands blessed with beautiful cool environment (it reminded me of my village)

Here I was at the gate and as though I was a guest of honour; my brother #TravelWithEliud and Millicent (who was our host and is also the Marketing Manager) were there I think getting ready to start the tour of the estate since I was late with minutes (which made me feel guilty and rather than greetings I begun with an apology which was accepted)

Fairview Estate is a coffee farm that traces its history over 80 years back in history and stretches on 44 ha of coffee farm that prides itself with 72,000 coffee trees that blesses the farm with 80 tonnes annual of coffee that is fed by the cool waters of Riara  River. Millicent went on to breakdown more information and went on to open the books of history from her head as though reading it from a script. 

The estate has changed hands with time from original owner Mrs Eveline Poy to former Ambassador to the USA, Ambassador Leonard Oliver Kibinge and his family and still continue to yield one of Kenya’s finest quality coffee. “How was coffee discovered?” I asked to end my long waiting question that I had carried for years in my head.

It is said coffee was discovered in Ethiopia in the 11th Century when a herder Kaldi noticed his  got a strange characteristics and behavior after eating berries from a certain trees they ate from. He reported it to the local monastery who at first they didn’t take him so serious but later they believed him, they begun with boiling the leaves only later when women discovered it was better when the beans were roasted, this later spread out to the east moving to the Arabian Peninsula who begun the journey bringing coffee across the globe hence the name Arabica coffee, (with all they crossing the world from Ethiopia it took close to 500 year for coffee to get its roots in Kenya)

As usual I went digging, from history books it is said that coffee was first planted in Kenya at Bura in Taita in 1893 then later in Kibwezi under irrigation in 1900 then 1904 at Kikuyu near Nairobi. During this time there were no statutory control on husbandry, production, grading to marketing of cash crops. Coffee planting was controlled following the Devonshire white paper report of 1923.

Fairview estate traditional coffee is SL28 that is famous worldwide. The Estate also has introduced the Ruiru 11 (its supposed to be Ruiru II but then the minister of agriculture failed to read the roman numericals and read it as 11)

After a walk in the coffee farm we got back to the little Paradise next to the estate’s offices, graced with a water fountain that looks like a waterfall with benches to rest as you enjoy the sound of the flowing water from the fountain sipping hot coffee made and brewed from the estate. We relaxed as we settled the lessons and amazing lessons learnt.

 The coffee tour at Fairview estate takes you the farming of the coffee to the harvesting all the way to when your coffee tickles your nostrils with the sweet aroma and sipping down your hot coffee.

After enjoying our break, we were off for a nature walk. Slowly trying to learn more of coffee farming and at first I was looking at Millicent as though she was all joking when she said they have Nairobi’s well kept secret beauty!!!! 

Going down what looked like a gorge wondering where she was taking us to. With no word she just pointed for us……………………..

A waterfall!!! Yes, I can bear witness that of all waterfalls I have been to within Nairobi From Tigoni, to my all favourite Karura forest, to the little gem of Ololua nature trail to others this waterfall at Fairview estate now pride itself as my most beautiful waterfall in Nairobi (or within proximity and and within Nairobi).

 Fed by River Riara that gives its name from beside the Kiambu Forest (that is on the Verge of disappearing thanks to logging and sprouting residential houses welcomed by swinging axes and falling of trees)

Later we walked among the coffee trees to this dam that our guide, Millicent kept talking about with so much passion and attachment to it.

 As per my visit the dam was refilling after it was dried up to clear the dam from silting and even with the little water it had I was amazed by the garden that surround it looking so beautiful and that is when our guide opened her heart and told us as to why she talks with passion of this dam and garden; 

it is at this place that she had her wedding which she took us back into time of imagination of her great day and indeed I understand why this is one of her favourite place in Fairview estate.

 Took a moment to marvel at this great place before we had to call it a day.

The activities found at Fairview aside the coffee tours include the following:-

1. Cycling (its a 150 acres on your disposal)

2. Nature walks 

3. Birdwatching

4. Daily tours

5. Wedding grounds

6. Picnics

Charges for the coffee tour is Ksh 1,000  and 30$  and if you want a picnic lunch you can have it at Ksh 750. 

This Tour is for a minimum of 4 people taking place from 10 am to 12 noon (after that you have the whole garden all for you to enjoy) but book earlier for your visit.

I am grateful to #TravelWithEliud for the surprise  and Fairview estate for giving me the opportunity to realize that indeed my believe that indeed Nairobi is  #TheCityWeAssume and there is much that is yet to be discovered and explored.