Lost Notes: The Slave Trade at the East African Coast

Lost Notes: The Slave Trade at the East African Coast

City Tour, Excursion, History
Hot dry monsoon winds catch the boat’s sail as our captain’s gaze across the Indian Ocean turns glossy. The ocean simmers and ripples in bright orange as it reflects the late evening sun. He squints his eye in a thoughtful mood, searching deep into his memories. He’s narrating to us one of the most important, controversial, hotly contested and silently dealt with topics 
in African history, the East African slave trade. We’re on a traditional Arab dhow, having just left Shimoni caves on an excursion to Wasini Island for snorkeling and sight seeing. Close to the border of Tanzania, you can sail 
to it from Diani Beach or Shimoni , or like Omani Arabs, to the Islands of Zanzibar and Pemba. But who were the Omani? What’s the Portuguese connection to…
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Off The Beaten Path: Caving and Off-roading – Gatune Hills

Off The Beaten Path: Caving and Off-roading – Gatune Hills

City Tour, Excursion, Extreme, Nairobi Area
Its always the dream of any 4x4 car owner to test the limits of their machines in harsh and extreme terrains. Most 4x4 fans never get a chance to experience this thrill, and when such an opportunity cropped up, I couldn’t resist. Having limited activities due to the COVID-19 restrictions gave me time to slowly service the old Suzuki Vitara. I’d driven the four-wheel drive car for years, but I rarely take it through grit and dirt roads. Looking for spare parts online led me to join a unique group of Suzuki enthusiasts. Apart from mechanical and technical advise members help each other in sourcing spare parts and other gadgets necessary for the ultimate off-roading vehicle. I had never heard of Gatune Hills, or Nachu Caves before, but owing to…
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Ahoy Matey! The Thrills of Big Game Fishing – Kenya

Ahoy Matey! The Thrills of Big Game Fishing – Kenya

Excursion, Fishing, Mombasa, Wildlife Safari
Watamu. The small dhow bounces on the waves during the early morning one-minute ride to the fishing boat, its sails full of wind; the sailor deftly adjusting the ropes. The twin-engine 25-foot craft we are headed to is designed for a crew of two and specially designed for 2 more passengers. As we climb aboard, I feel the excitement building for the task ahead. This is my first time on a professional fishing boat, and I’m impressed. I also pray to the gods of the sea to keep my stomach steady, especially after the earlier full English breakfast. On the boat, I’m introduced to Captain Majid and his assistant Abdul, who casually asks me if I had taken seasickness tablets. I reply in the affirmative, and then we head into…
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Birdnificent©: Mombasa

Birdnificent©: Mombasa

Bird_watching, Excursion, Mombasa
When? All year round Experience the less well-known habitats of coastal birds between the vast Tsavo East & West National Parks, and the Arabuko-Sokoke Forest and Mida Creek in Malindi. Mombasa Island Haller Park Nguuni Animal Sanctuary Beach Mombasa Island We visit the area around the famous Fort Jesus in search of a wealth of fascinating species – Golden Palm Weavers nesting in the Cycads near the gate; Red Cheeked Cordon Bleus hop around the Fort and Brown Breasted Barbets seem to have adopted the old trees for their breeding site.From the walls overlooking the sea, various Terns, Sooty Gulls and a variety of migrant waders can be seen and at the right time of year on English Point, opposite the Fort, Crab Plovers congregate.The large Baobab Trees on Mama…
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Birdnificent©: Ngong Forest

Birdnificent©: Ngong Forest

Bird_watching, City Tour, Excursion, Hiking, Nairobi Area, Wildlife Safari
When? All year round Just 10 km from the Kenyan capital, adjacent to Nairobi Racecourse, Ngong Road Forest Sanctuary – the isolated remnant of a once vast upland forest elsewhere almost wholly supplanted by suburbia – still boasts a surprisingly rich avifauna. Activities Where to go...​ Look out for...​ Activities Discover birds in the wild while exploring the forest trailsTake a break with a picnic and immerse yourself in nature. Where to go...​ A network of tracks crisscrosses what is left of the indigenous Ngong Forest, between broad avenues used by local equestrians. There is an active African Crowned Eagle nest, to which a forest guide should be able to escort you. Pairs of Narina Trogon and Hartlaub’s Turaco can usually be found within patches of dense woodland, and after rain the…
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Discover Nairobi: Full Day City Tour

Discover Nairobi: Full Day City Tour

City Tour, Excursion, Game drive
The attraction of Kenya’s capital, Nairobi, lies in its unpredictable pace and enchanting contrasts, which are often missed in favor of safari game trips. However, to overlook ‘the green city in the sun’ is to skip the thriving heartbeat of East Africa. The bustling city is an established hub where a variety of cultures co-exist, hustle, and more often than not, harmonize. So if you have some time with you, let’s go! 8:00 AM-11:00 AM - Nairobi National Park Only a “lion’s roar” from the city Centre, wildlife in the Nairobi National Park share the city with the human population.A few Black Rhino can be seen, while the main attraction is Cheetah, Lion and Buffalo as well as a great variety of plains game. There is also a large selection of bird life.…
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Off the Beaten Path: Camping at Thomson’s Falls [Sep – Dec]

Off the Beaten Path: Camping at Thomson’s Falls [Sep – Dec]

Bird_watching, Camping, Excursion, Game drive, Hiking, Wildlife Safari
Camping, birding, nature trails... Thomson’s Falls, named after Joseph Thomson, a Scottish geologist and naturalist who was the first European to see the falls in 1883, is a 73-meter sheer drop of the Ewaso Narok River over a ledge of volcanic rock. Thomson's Lodge was built in the 1930s by settlers as a private residence, and became a hotel in the 1960s. The nearby Lake Ol Bollosat is the source of River Ewaso Narok that is a key tributary to the Ewaso Nyiro River and has been designated as an IBA (Important Bird Area) since 2007. What To Do What To See Where To Sleep What To Do Reconnect with nature in a beautiful and serene setting while birdwatching. Spend a night at the campsite and visit Lake Ol Bollosat…
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Birdnificent©: Manguo Pond, Limuru

Birdnificent©: Manguo Pond, Limuru

Bird_watching, City Tour, Excursion, Hiking, Wildlife Safari
When? September - June A shallow, seasonal basin close to a major intersection, Manguo Pond can be viewed from roads on two sides. The water level fluctuates, but there is usually water enough to attract freshwater and marshland birds – sometimes in astonishing numbers. Activities Birdnificent© Activities Enjoy birdwatching at one of the most diverse ecosystems right outside Nairobi city. While at it, explore the ponds on an educational guided nature walk and test your knowledge on while having fun. Birdnificent© Look out for… Maccoa Duck, White-backed Duck, Lesser Moorhen (in wet months), Madagascar Pond Heron, palearctic migrants Guaranteed sightings… Of the many and varied ducks that visit Manguo Pond, Maccoa Duck is the rarest – and most interesting. Breeding pairs of White-backed Duck are often seen amid the floating…
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Experience Mombasa: Exclusive City Excursion

Experience Mombasa: Exclusive City Excursion

City Tour, Excursion, Mombasa
The largest port on the East African coast, Mombasa, although a busy modern city, still retains its low-rise character, particularly between the massive Portuguese-built Fort Jesus and the old dhow harbour, which remains much the same as it was 150 years ago. The attractive buildings are decorated with ornate balconies. Mombasa is a kaleidoscope of different cultures and languages and is a town that thrives on tourism. Our full-day excursion provides a wide-ranging overview of this fascinating city. Let’s go! 8:00 a.m.-10:00 a.m. - Fort Jesus/ Old Town We start with a visit to Fort Jesus, built in 1593. Fort Jesus an old Portuguese fort located at the mouth of old port of Mombasa. It was built on the orders of King Philip 1 of Portugal between 1593 and 1596…
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Off the Beaten Path: Bird Watching, Hiking in Naivasha [Mar – May]

Off the Beaten Path: Bird Watching, Hiking in Naivasha [Mar – May]

Camping, Excursion, Fishing, Game drive, Hiking, Naivasha, Rock climbing
Bird Watching, Rock Climbing, Hiking, Fishing - Camp Carnelley’s What To Do... Explore... Look Out For.. Accommodation... What To Do... Activities include nature walks and boat trips to the lake. Trips to Hell’s Gate National Park, Mt. Longonot and other excursions can be arranged. The campsite is the highlight of the trip. Explore... The nearby Hells Gate is best known for its jagged cliffs and striking gorge, and offers excellent rock climbing for all abilities, from easy routes on East Rib, ideal for beginners, to the more challenging 37m Groove, on Fischer’s Tower named after German naturalist Gustav Fischer. Hell’s Gate is one of the few national parks that is safe to walk in. The 68-km2 park was gazetted in 1984. Take a hike down Njorowa Gorge, or mountain bike past…
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