Riding into 2019

The year is just few days old and the calendar page is still fresh. However the year begun so well as usual thanks to an adventure idea that just came from the blue skies.

My Travel blogger brother #TravelWithEliud called me with a plan to go cycling together with some of our friends at least to welcome the new year in a unique way, whom am I to say “No”?

We met up in town on the 1st day of 2019 and headed off to Langata where we were to pick up our bikes and set out for the fun cycling day as planned.

After catching up with each other we got set up and changed to our cycling attires, testing our toys for the day as allocated to each and everyone.

When all was set out, we were out of our start off point enjoy the almost free roads (seems people of the city were yet to arrive) as the always busy langata road looked less busy as to its usual.

Slow and sure we roared our tyres against the tarmac with our first destination being Sheldrick Elephant Orphanage where we were not so lucky as we found visitation hours were just over and everyone was getting out (thanks to million of stop overs on our way)

This was more of a special day as we initiated our Brother of #TravelWithEliud into cycling as he has been pushing us have him join us as we cycle together and on this day it was his first time to cycle fully kitted except from his beloved military hiking boots which to our surprise were comfortable to him all day.

Due to our lateness for visiting the baby elephants we couldn’t be allowed to go in but who are we to walk away without a picture of an elephant?

We found a wooden carving of an elephant and made use of it to console ourselves and it turned out feeling like we had seen the elephants above all got better pictures with an elephant with us

As to mark our visitation, we also had to take the landmark picture to helping anyone not to doubt about orphanage

We continued our cycling fun and we were headed out for our next stop that was on the other side of the Elephant orphanage

It was not an easy day to some friends as the climbs kept getting tougher and opted to give a favour to their bikes by pushing them up the climbs rather than having their bikes take them up the climbs

However, no matter how hard it turned out on the uphills, we never failed to have great moments for resting and trying our modeling skills

Few kilometers on our count we made it to our second destination and this time we checked in into Giraffe center where as usual got close to giraffes, fed them

and others tried the usual thing getting a kiss from this humble animals

Later after receiving kisses and feeding the giraffes we were off yet to our final destination.

We were off pushing ourselves for Oloolua Nature Trail for a nature walk and showing off our skills at modeling and enjoying photography sessions may to capture our first pictures of 2019

It was an amazing experience catching up with friends of whom we enjoy traveling together and no other way was better to welcome a new year than this.

At the end of the day we were so happy that one of ours joined the cycling fraternity and adventure. I am hopeful to see him cycle more and enjoy the cycling life.

May 2019 be a great one for all travel along may it bring more travel stories and amazing destinations.

Happy new year

#ChinkuTravels

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Happy New Year 2019

Happy new year of 2019!!!!!!!!

2018 was a great one filled with adventures and meeting new friends that I now count then as my great friends. I was also able to go to new destinations, got to meet some of you great supporters of this blog and got to learn from you how my small adventures have been helping you in taking up the journey of traveling to different destinations that I share in my blog and others got to share with me new destinations that came as suggestions.

I believe that its just few words that I share through my Travel Stories but they help in a big way, making me think more of this new year of 2019.

May 2019 come along with adventures, meeting more of you my great supporters, learning more to sharing more. I pray that we can have more adventures to share about our travel stories above all, may 2019 be great to you all filled with more travel and discovery of new or less known destinations.

As a friend of mine says, “we don’t unpack our bags, but we just repack for the next adventure” and 2019 looks more promising with even greater adventures.

To more adventures in 2019,

I remain yours,

#ChinkuTravels

Happy Festive season

Dear Reader,

It is that time of the year when we reflect on the year that has been and also its the time of cerebration. As the count down to the end of 2018 has begun, I write this simple letter to you my dearest reader, follower and subscribers of #ChinkuTravels blog.

Thank you for always reading, following and also sharing my travel stories online. It is your continued support that makes me pick up my paper and pen to share my adventures and new destinations that I call #HiddenKenyanGems.

I write this letter to celebrate your continued support that has brought me thus far.

As 2019 knocks at the door, and open new pages on our calendars I want to wish you a Merry Christmas and an adventure packed new year of 2019

With great love and cerebration,

I am yours #ChinkuTravels

Tour Of Nairobi United Nations Office

Some few weeks I got an invitation to UN offices in Nairobi for a tour, at first I hesitated to reply in confirmation of my acceptance for the invite as couldn’t believe it.

Someone said “…..travel and change of place impart new vigor to the mind” I have known of the UN Tours at Nairobi offices but had never gone for one when such an opportunity came by who was I to say “No” ?

“is it even possible for anyone to visit the United Nations offices if you are not a dignitary or head of state?” that is the question many people always ask and YES!! you can visit the United Nations even if you are not a dignitary and this has been made possible by the available Tours that let visitors have sometime visiting the headquarters while learning about United Nations and the great work it does.

The UN tours is fairly new as it has been taking place from January 2012 when it was introduced at the United Nations Office in Nairobi however I got to learn it has been taking place at the main headquarters in New York and the other two regional headquarter in Geneva in Switzerland and Vienna in Austria. (I hope soon or later I can visit the other 2 that is the headquarters in New York and the others in Geneva and Vienna which can be a good personal achievement )

“how does one get the opportunity for the tour?” Being a very important complex, just be assured strictness is at the forefront so you need to make a booking and get your dates confirmed as you cant just walk to the gate and doors get opened for you widely you may find yourself as a guest in a cell and endowed in handcuffs being escorted away in sirens under arrest.

The process is surprisingly simple as all you need to do is write an email to ( un.tours@un.org ), stating that you would like to have the tour if not you can click Here……..Nairobi UN TOURS and book a tour.

The charges are another surprise as they are relatively affordable because its Ksh.500.00 for Kenyan adults, Ksh.400 for Kenyan students above 18 years and ksh.300 for Kenyan students below 18 years. On submition of required details at the “BOOK A TOUR” you get instruction on how and when you can visit as by the dates you select.

on your visit expect a day of learning and pride having set foot at such important offices that have played major role all over the globe.

There are many places of interest like the educative tour guides that share knowledge about United Nations and mostly the Nairobi Headquarters,

visit to the beautiful conference hall that many head of states have sat during sessions held in Nairobi,

The green house that is more like the future living today as it is a conservative of energy due to the use of solar energy, recycling of water and so much more

the memorial garden in commemoration of the victims of the 1998 bombing of the US Embassy in Nairobi and Dar-es-Salaam, Tanzania.

Beautiful arts and gifts from member states (my favorite is that of children trying to showcase the better life and excitingly its the starting point of the tour.)

On my visit I left the United Nation headquarter offices in Nairobi with my head so high and with pride on a higher level first of all proud of Kenya as the land on which the headquarter is built on was donated by the first President of Kenya Mzee Jomo Kenyatta and 2nd President Daniel Arap Moi. Another reason why my pride for this country of our is that the Current President of Ethiopia, Sahle-Work Zewde had been appointed as a Special Representative to the African Union and Head of the United Nations Office to the African Union (UNOAU) and working here in Nairobi headquarters before becoming the first woman President of Ethiopia

The tour is eye opening, filled with great information and may be your visit may uplift your pride for Kenya above all make you have more respect for the United Nations for what they have done and are doing for this world. Make it a point to take part in this amazing tour and I believe you will love the whole experience.

Kindly note that the UNtours can be delivered in six official languages of the UN namely; Arabic, Chinese, English, French, Russian and Spanish. Go experience this amazing experience and gain more knowledge above all you can be proud of yourself having visited a United Nation Headquarter and more unique the only one in this side of the globe then may on your visit to New York, Vienna or Geneva you can book for a tour to experience more.

For more details you can visit the following to ensure you don’t miss your visit:

United Nations Visitors’ Service
United Nations Information Centre
P.O. Box 67578 (00200) Nairobi, Kenya
Telephone: +254-20-762-2034;
Email: un.tours@un.org;
Website: www.unon.org/visitors

Don’t break, make it cheaper

Are you so worried on how you will spend or enjoy this festive season? Hotels, Transport even meals are on the higher ladder as the costs have escalated making everything expensive I believe that has made this festive season so expensive.

Many people have lost hope of enjoying this festive season thanks to the high rates for hotel accommodation, hiring of cars or transport cost to most places has gone higher than the normal one. But who said traveling or enjoying this season should be expensive? Don’t break your pockets to hit on the high prices that have come with this season.

It can be cheaper!!! Don’t run out of finances or burn your cash trying to enjoy the festive season but did you know it can be cheaper and filled with fun? Just try this steps:

1. Go Camping:-

This is the cheapest way to travel and enjoy the festive season or even visiting places you wish to go to (in most of my travel I go camping and I have come to love it)

Camping has become so available as there has been an increase of campsites in most towns in Kenya and are very affordable.

Camping is also one of the best way to meet new people as many people have taken up the love for camping be assured to meet very many people at a campsite and its better to try your social skills on how well you are with people,

don’t hesitate to know them share your adventure even a meal is OK to share or even match sticks or just a bottle of beer if not that of a soda.

2. Self Catering:

Are you one of the few who have not yet adopted camping? Don’t be worried, you can go for the self-catering option where you get a banda, apartment or cottage for yourself then cook like you are home.

Don’t be mean go in a group as it will help you on cost reduction as you will each contribute something little to fill your basket. I always encourage my friends to go for KWS bandas as they are in most parks yet so affordable so stay overnight at a park and sleeping at their bandas if not go for other options.

3. Tag along your “Travel gang”:

Don’t go alone, call upon your friends, colleagues or even family to accompany on this festive season.

Traveling in a group helps to reduce cost by ensuring everyone contributes something little to meet the costs like food, hiring of a car if not fueling yours or even getting a self-catering accommodation.

4. Take the less Traveled road

This end of year holidays the tradition has always been that everyone heads to the Kenyan Coast and other common destinations like Naivasha, leading to lack of fun as most of the common destinations are fully packed with everyone.

Why don’t you make it unique and adventure to the less traveled destinations? There are a number of places you can adventure to Like Nanyuki, Rusinga, Kakamega to visit kakamega forest, or even head out to places like Meru National park where they will be less crowded just avoid the traditional end of year holiday destinations and try somewhere new.

5. Research:

Do some research on your chosen destination, don’t just go blindly. Get to know the attractions, directions, distances (just imagine getting lost during this festive season or on the count down to the new year).

Ensure you know something’s about your chosen destination to ensure all goes well and not be taken up by surprise by somethings.

6. Be Ready and Pack

Have you got everything as you have planned? Pack and get ready don’t wait for the last minute.

Ensure your tents are ready, your sleeping bags are clean. Check with the booked choice of campsites,bandas, cottages or the apartments to ensure they are ready for you and your reservations are confirmed.

As usual I hope to see you having an adventure or we meet up on our adventures on this festive season, be good and kind to everyone.

#ChinkuTravels

Hit The Road

Victoria Erickson: A rising social media sensation, author of two popular books- Edge of Wonder, and “Rhythms and Roads” once said “Road trips are the equivalent of human wings. Ask me to go on one, anywhere. We’ll stop in every small town and learn the history and stories, feel the ground and capture the spirit. Then we’ll turn it into our own story that will live inside our history to carry with us, always. Because stories are more important than things.” her words came to relate more after a road trip with friends marking start of our November.

Few days ago on the second week of November my great friend called Wanjiku but as friends we have baptized her “LG” called me sharing an idea of a road trip asking me if I was interested to which I confirmed my interest.

We invited a number of friends and ended up being 5 of us ready to go on a road trip exploring a few destinations while enjoying a weekend out of the city. Route planned was touching on Thika, Matuu, Kitui, Masinga, Embu, Mwea and back to Nairobi.

We met on a Saturday, all pumped up with excitement as it meant fun and discovery on our way. Departed with our first stopover at the capital of pineapple farming: Thika with breakfast at a beautiful restaurant called Zoom Spoon.

After being filled and restocked we left the pineapple Paradise off onto the Garissa road enjoying the beautiful views of Yatta plateau

Got to Matuu, bought some few things for our camping and road trip. Later on we were off branching off from Garissa road heading for the hidden Masinga dam for our lunch break and a short stopover.

Masinga Dam Resort is located next to Masinga Dam that boarders a less visited Mwea National reserve that acts as a green boarder line with the dam.

When we were done with touring the resort, we decided to leave so glad to the welcoming Mr Amos Mwanake who served us and shared more information to us. The road trip proceeded with another stopover at Kobos Resort so greatful to Liz at the Front office who showed us around and shared more information

Kobos Resort is a hidden gem of this area that almost made us end our day there but later we left and got to Embu at the fall of darkness making our drive to our home for the night, Camp Ndunda.

Dinner and bonfire to mark our first night away from home. It was a long night but filled with fun and as usual the rules still remain for the bonfire “What happens at the bonfire, remains there”

Breakfast was served and all cleaned up as we welcomed a new day. Breaking our camp in readiness of our return journey back home

On the 2nd morning we were off to explore the amazing Camp Ndunda. They got an amazing nature trail on hundreds of acres of natural forest filled with beauty to great birdlife that kept calling as though cheering us on the nature walk.

The walk was so amazing making us even lose count of our distance in the nature walk only for our ears get attracted to a more beautiful sound from the thick forest cover only for us to get so excited “….waterfall!!!..”

A twin waterfall with its water crushing down forming a beautiful Riverine environment that made us feel so peaceful more like a free meditation session in the depth of nature

My best part was the suspended bridge

that kept giving a rush of imagination in our minds as we were walking high above the waterfall making our weak knees juggle and wobble with our increased heart beats hidden by bright smiles for that best Instagram picture

The view from above was so amazing. Just imagine the views of a twin waterfall and a great crystal clear watered river flowing below your feet rushing down into the cover of the forest on its way to its destination

On getting to the other side, we decided to enjoy another way back to our origin point this time flying above the river on a zipline may be flying across the river relieving our fears again with a smile for the perfect picture

It was meant to be a short road trip and as usual whatever has a beginning its destined for an end. So did our road trip as we checked out of Home far from home, and begun our return journey from Embu bypassing Kutus stopping at whatever touched our hearts

On getting back I kept asking myself “how often do we take roadtrips?”. Myself I take roadtrips (mostly solo) more often when I have the opportunity.

As always, take that road trip and enjoy what I call #HiddenKenyanGems

Karura Forest; Lungs Of Our City

Have you been to a place and it stole your heart? For me Karura Forest was just like what “Love Stories” in Soap Operas that are flooding our Television Sets (I am not saying this to offend you lover of this great Soap Operas) it was all “Love At First Sight” only for me it was “Love At First Visit” back few years ago and i still go back almost every weekend.

The forest is also a place that I go to have my meditation or break away from the busy week where I either go to cycle my bike or at time just enjoy a walk along the beautiful trails that run for kilometers yet so refreshing.

This is a place I believe most of my friends have ended up visiting either because I drag them along or talk a lot about Karura Forest ending up seeing them fall in love with Karura

The beauty of this Lung of the city is that it is all secure by an electric fence all around it with well marked trails that ensure you don’t get lost in the beautiful nature that’s all well kept and preserved from the efforts of the Late Professor Wangari Mathai who struggled together with other environmental lovers for a future generation which today their efforts are bearing fruits from the number of visitors to Karura Forest

It has got a beautiful waterfall that changes in size as by the rainfalls.

At times its water become so low that it almost becomes bear and on arrival of the rainy seasons

it shows its mighty roaring deep in the valley covered by the mighty forest and acting as a welcoming beauty to its visitors.

The amazing Caves that are historical from being said to be a hide out for our freedom fighters during independence struggles and also as an archeology site.

There has been great additions to this amazing forest as years pass by. Today it has become a place of picnicking, photography, birding, primate observation like the Colombus monkeys to the vervet monkeys among other wild animals located in here.

How I wish we had more and more of such places all around and withing the city where we can have fun, practice environmental conservation to much more like catching up with old friends or even meeting new ones

If you are visiting Nairobi for the first time, after visiting the Nairobi National Park I would recommend it that you took time to visit Karura Forest either for a walk, jogging, cycling or just looking for the birds,animals or even enjoying Botany to its best and I believe you will enjoy

Visit the Lilly lake named after the great number of Lilly plants found there,

Go enjoy great views at the platform overlooking a swamp

Don’t forget to carry some picnic with you as there are great picnic sites located in the forest with picnic benches

The forest can be accessed through Kiambu Road or Limuru Road just right after the Belgium Embassy. If you have got a car parking is available at pocket friendly charges and also you can use Public Service Vehicle (matatus as we call them in Kenya).

Dont forget to take along a good camera or make use of your Phone Camera to capture the beauty then share it with friends

Enjoy more pictures below from my walk that I had and as always remember to travel more and encourage more to accompany you.

#ChinkuTravels