A country in East Africa with coastline on the Indian Ocean. It encompasses savannah, lake lands, the dramatic Great Rift Valley and mountain highlands. It's also home to wildlife like lions, elephants and rhinos. From Nairobi, the capital, safaris visit the Maasai Mara Reserve, known for its annual wildebeest migrations, and Amboseli National Park, offering views of Tanzania's Mt. Kilimanjaro.
Explore Your Surroundings
We thoroughly explored as much as we could while in Kenya. From various neighborhoods in Nairobi, the capital city to Amboseli National Park down to the beautiful beaches on the coastal region. It was important to see it all as each area offers a very different perspective.
Safari Experience - Have you ever wanted to go on a safari? We wanted to and finally checked it off our bucket list in Amboseli National Park! Crowned by Mount Kilimanjaro, Africa's highest peak, the Amboseli National Parks is one of Kenya's most popular parks. The name "Amboseli" comes from a Maasai word meaning "salty dust", and it is one of the best places in Africa to view large herds up close. The 3.5 hour ride from Nairobi wasn't bad. Once we got ALL the luggage packed on top of the truck. Side Note: Pack light and use a hard suitcase in case it rains during transit. Especially if traveling with a group as your bags will be stored on top of the vehicle. We were whisked through Nairobi city traffic into the wild. Our vehicle came fully equipped with free wifi and power outlets, BONUS!
Nature lovers can explore four different habitats here ranging from the dried-up bed of Lake Amboseli, wetlands with sulphur springs, the savannah and woodlands. As we entered Amboseli National Park we were greeted by the Maasai tribe. We purchased some goods as we stopped for a bathroom break. Our safari officially began not long after we cleared the gates! We saw elephants, wildebeest, giraffes, lions, various birds, hyenas, gazelles and hippos in their natural environment. The killer thing on a safari is you never know what you will see or how many because the animals don’t follow our schedules. Weather plays a factor as well.
Kenya Safari Lodge: Our group wasn't really about that true camping life so our safari accommodations were more “resort” or “luxury” style with all inclusive options. The views were as far as you can see and we captured some unbelievable drone shots from the property. Upon arrival, we were greeted with a cool hand towel, welcome drink and resort information regarding meal and power conservation schedules . After checked in we were escorted to our cabins to get settled before lunch. We had some time to explore the property and it was stunning! Be sure to check out our Instagram Stories to view a walk through of our cabin and footage from our trip. The property, staff, amenities and food was amazing! We would definitely do this trip again, but spend at least one more day relaxing at the lodge.
Note: Since we stayed in the reserve, there are power conservation regulations and the electricity is shut off for a few ours during the day. Our lodge was great at communicating this to ensure our devices were properly charged. This is mandatory in Amboseli, so come prepared with extended portable batteries.
Our evening game drive felt as if we were in a scene from "The Lion King", including the most beautiful sunset. It was surreal being that close to the wildlife in their natural habitat. We will dedicate another post to share more detailed info about our full safari experience and what we would've done differently.
Watamu Coastal Region- We took a short flight from Nairobi to Malindi to catch some rays and relax. Some of our group went deep sea fishing in the Indian Ocean off the coast of Watamu, Kenya Africa. Their mission was to catch lunch and they set out to accomplish just that! Fighting the treacherous morning waves @scoot_marley caught a Tuna and hand delivered to the chef at our accommodations for the perfect grill. We enjoyed the catch of the day sea side with amazing views. Appetizer: Tuna Tartar Lunch: Filleted, grilled Tuna Fish and vegetables served atop mashed yucca root.
The Blue Bay Cove in Watamu, Kenya is filled with all types of marine wildlife. During this time of year there is low tide from about 10am-4pm where the water recedes to about ankle level and you can walk across to the surrounding islands. For a few Schillings the local “fish boys” will escort you and tell you all about the marine life which I encourage because it can be dangerous walking out there and Watamu is a town that relays on tourism, so it’s an honest hustle (wear water shoes to protect your feet).
We came in contact with many cool creatures. View our experience.
Immerse In Culture
Jumping for joy! We spent the morning at the Maasai village and school. We learned about their way of life, the roles for men, women, elders and how they survive in Amboseli National Park. Masai people, especially men, are known to be brave and proud. Apart from this, their feature is being tenacious warriors, wearing typical red checkered clothes, called kanga and holding spears or wooden sticks. To prove their strength and maturity, they jump in the air as a part of traditional dance. We participated in the jumping contest, song and prayer with The Maasai tribe. They wished us well and traveling grace. Yea...I got no hops compared to these guys!
We also learned that the Cow is sacred and considered a blessing to the Maasai people. They cow manure spread throughout the middle of the village as that is the heart of their home and they feel it will bring more blessings to them. They are considered nomads and often roam from village to village and away from their families months at a time. In order to get married the men must hunt and kill a Lion with his bare hands. With each marriage (polygamy), a Lion must be killed. We met a warrior on the coast that told us all about his Lion battle and even showed us his photos and war wounds!
According to our guide, the marks on his face are his passport. They get marked depending on what tribe they are from and can travel into Tanzania without any other documentation. Each Tribe gets branded/marked differently on the face to distinguish where they are from and purpose.
The children were so happy to see us and greeted us with welcome song- ABCs and 1,2,3s. They wanted to take selfies and wave into the camera. Their ages range from 3-5 currently learning English, Swahili, history and geography! @paperplanesandpassports will be sending items like children’s clothing and school supplies back to them soon. Shoot us an email if you’d like to help.
Cooking Class - We travel for food😋! According to @huffpost “Coming together and sharing a meal is the most communal and binding thing in almost every place in the world. Food is also a great vehicle for sharing culture with people from different backgrounds.” We totally agree and the reason why we did a cooking class. We met our host Josephine and she took us on the public bus to the market to shop for our ingredients and then to her home to meet her family. This provided the full experience of shopping and preparing a home cooked Kenyan meal. We discovered the one thing that is most common amongst families all over the world is missing spoons! It was just like being at home searching the entire kitchen for enough to serve the group. Please tell us what happens to all the spoons 🤷🏽♀️? Check out our experience making Chicken/Beef/Vegetable Curry with Chapati.
Recipe: Chicken/Beef/Vegetable Curry with Chapati
Vegetables- Spinach, managu, amarantha, and onion
Garlic Cloves Cinnamon Cardamon Black pepper Nutmeg Cumin seeds Cayenne powder Green chillies Turmeric Sugar
Add butter and garlic to large pot. Simmer for about 3 minutes and add chicken, beef and water until boiling.
For the green veggies, spinach, managu, amarantha, and onion. Put oil in the pan, add all the spices to cook for 2-3 minutes, add the onions, ginger and garlic.
Make a paste of tomatoes and add them and natural yogurt and cook for 2 minutes the add the meat and vegetables and let it cook for 20 minutes for beef and chicken and 10 minutes for vegetables.
Chapati Wheat flour, warm water, 1/2 teaspoon salt, 1 table spoon sugar, oil, margarine In a bowl of warm water add salt, sugar and 1 teaspoon of oil and mix... Then add the wheat flour and knead...the dough should not be too hard and not too soft..leave it covered for some time and spread it and apply the margarine and then fold and cut in small pieces the roll them and cook in hot pan and apply the oil on both sides.
Kibera Slums - We truly immersed in Kenyan culture as we visited the dwellings in Kibera. It’s location is a division of Nairobi, Kenya. Kibera is the largest slum in Nairobi, the largest urban slum in Africa, 3rd largest in the world. Estimated Kibera population may be 500,000 per 4.1 mile radius. Most of Kibera residents live in extreme poverty, earning less than $1.00/day. Unemployment rates are high. Persons living with HIV in the slum are many, as are AIDS. Cases of assault/rape are common. There are few schools, most people cannot afford education for their children. Clean water is scarce. Diseases caused by poor hygiene are prevalent. A great majority living in the slum lack access to basic services, including electricity, running water, and medical care.
Our experience: HUMBLED - we visited a families home to see what living is like. Our host has lived in Kibera for over 30 yrs and raised 8 children in a 1 bedroom shack with tin roof and walls. No plumbing, rigged electrical outlets and leaking ceilings. The proverty is real but the people are happy because it’s a less expensive way of life. The community leans on one another for child care & employment. They get water from centrally located wells throughout the slum. There is no waste management so you will see feceies running out the bathroom floors into ditches that flow into a nearby creek. It was extremely muddy and slippery walking through the slums, wear sturdy, waterproof, closed toe shoes. The smell was unpleasant for majority of the tour but it was worth it to understand how/why people live in Kibera. I will never forget what we experienced.
Our guide lived here in the slums for a period of his life while studying to become a lawyer. We were happy to support him and his tourism business as our contribution went towards children going to school & helps employ other young men/women from Kibera. My outlook on life has completely changed forever. We cannot complain about anything, things could be much worse. We are thankful for this experience.
“Taking an image, freezing a moment, reveals how rich reality truly is.”
Photo taken in Watamu Blue Bay Cove by: @Sayariphotography_