Kwaheri Kenya! (Part 2.)

So, the journey there was event free (i.e. scary flying tin can did not fall out of the sky and it did in fact do it's job both efficiently and with out hiccups), and the hotel was beautiful. After settling in and getting acquainted with the resident monkeys it was time to start the adventure!

Unfortunately we got stung. Not a big sting.....just a little one. We thought about booking the mini adventures before we got out there, however we were reassured by everyone (Tripadvisor, the travel agents, parents, Internet, colleagues, the cat.....) that there would be more on offer and it would be cheaper when we got there. So we waited until we got there. Whata mistaka to makea. There were more trips to choose from but they all worked on a "minimum numbers" scheme so they were either fully booked or you were the only ones who booked it so it didn't! Plus they were not cheaper. At all. BIG before you go! I would recommend booking the things you definitely want to do before you get there but do take extra mahoola for anything that catches your eye whilst you're out there. Best of both worlds!

To experience Kenya at it's full potential you do need to have to spend a bit. But it's not the kind of holiday you'd do every year so it's worth it.

We opted for a trip to Shimba hills, including a trek through the rainforest! In 35 degree heat! With 100% humidity! For 2km! Up a near vertical climb!

Shimba Hills is a small National Reserve 33km from Mombasa. It is the only place in Kenya that is home to the Sable Antelope. There are (apparently) over 200 elephants in the reserve, there are only 4 giraffes, and herds of Buffalo. Of the 4 giraffes we saw 2 (yay!). Of the 200 elephants we saw....none. Go figure. This was down to the heat. The elephants spend the daylight hours hiding in the rainforest to avoid the heat, so if you're going go at night!

The walk through the rainforest to Sheldrick Falls was amazing! Very hot and at times a little unnerving but it was completely worth every minute.

This sign greeted us at the meeting did the ranger with a rather large gun. The words "Don't ask me why I have this gun, just know that if I have to use it I will be shooting to kill." Eeeep!

It wasn't until half way through the walk I heard the ranger mentioning leopards to another tourists.........but I was soon distracted by this giant snail!

One of the tour guides splitting open a mahogany pod........

.....revealing the mahogany seeds.

After a short walk we clambered over some slippery rocks and rounded the corner to this beauty......

We were given the chance to cool off in the waterfall, which after a 2km walk in blistering heat was more than welcome.....although watch out if you have sunburn!

On the way back we crossed paths with a few other little critters; a millipede (I braved a was amazing!)

We were incredibly lucky to meet this little guy:

The trek back to the meeting point was horrendous, 2kms up hill in the midday heat but then the rain came. The beautiful, marvellous rain!

We stopped off at the Reserve lodge for a bite of lunch and the biggest surprise of the holiday......

.....a squirrel!!!

If you want to guarantee the top 5 (Lions, Elephants, Giraffe, Buffalo and Zebras) I'd recommend Tsavo East. Shimba Hills is a beautiful place and it is definitely worth a visit.

Being a few miles from the equator gives you the perfect opportunity to see the sunrise in the most perfect way. Mr M dragged me out early to catch it rise (I'm not much of a morning person!). 

Kenya is such a beautiful country. Driving through the cities and the outskirts is an eye opening experience and it's hard not to be moved by the levels of people just surviving. I have to say though you could not meet happier's incredibly humbling to be surrounded with people who are happy with what they have. It will bring you screaming back to earth. It feels wrong driving through the shanty towns to get to the holiday resorts.

If you want to go to Kenya, do it! It is an amazing experience! Make sure you read up on their customs and cultures. Make sure you get the relevant jabs (you'll feel like a pin cushion!).

Mr M and I have decided that in the future we will go back to Kenya but we will go back and do it bigger and better!

There are perfect opportunities to give back to the local communities including trips to the local orphanages.

We were sad to leave.......and apparently so were the monkeys! "Don't go! We've only just met!"

 Kwaheri Kenya!

Date: 30.11.2013


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