My African Travel Bucket List

Although Kenyan, I have a list of African countries am itching to explore. Ask a Kenyan which country they would love to go to if money was not an issue, African countries rarely makes it to their list. They’ll most likely mention the usual culprits, The UK, The US, China, Germany and the United Arab Emirates with Dubai being the first stop.

Africa is so diverse why wouldn’t anyone explore this majestic continent?

I was writing down my travel bucket list late last year and settled on continental countries first before taking a trip around the world.
First up!

SOUTH AFRICA

What got me attracted to South Africa? The music, hands down. I love South African music. There’s something about their music that gets you up when you’re feeling down. They blend traditional and modern African beats into what we know as South African music.

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Besides their dynamic music, it snows in South Africa. You know, South African tribes inspired the colorful blankets we saw in Black Panther. These blankets are complimentary in community hotels so I’ll be sure to stay in one. I like free things, don’t judge me.

The one place you can experience winter wonderland without leaving the continent. I know sometimes it snows up north but S.A is the place to go. Snow angels anyone?

ETHIOPIA

This country is right next door to Kenya. A road trip across the country with friends and family sounds exciting, where do I sign up?

Ethiopia also boasts of being the only African country after Liberia that was not colonized by Europe. Meaning everything is authentically African, in Ethiopian standards of course.

ethiopian-coffee-ceremonyCoffe Certainly • Pinterest


Their coffee is a plus. Ethiopians love their coffee so much there’s a whole ceremony behind it. The way they prepare it, the way they serve it, the way they have it, one word, culture. The coffee ceremony symbolises friendship.

If you want the best, most delicious, well served coffee, fly to Ethiopia, thank me later.

So besides the coffee, which I’m sure you’ll absolutely fall in love with, is the alien like landscape. So if you want to feel like you’re on another planet, add Ethiopia to your list.


ZANZIBAR

Zanzibar is a small island in the Indian Ocean on the East of Tanzania. This island made part of a larger Tanzania back when it was known as Tanganyika. I guess you could say they broke up. While Mombasa is a tourist favourite for most, Zanzibar doesn’t fall far behind. These two islands are quite similar but what separate them are the all-natural organic spices Zanzibar is famous for.

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jetsetter.com

Zanzibar is also home to the kanga. East Africans wouldn’t be wearing kanga today if it wasn’t for their women.

Little known islands surround Zanzibar so it’s always good to explore. Thinking of going to the beach to soak up some sun, better make Zanzibar your destination.

MADAGASCAR

If you’ve seen Penguins of Madagascar I have some bad news. Penguins don’t exist in Madagascar, you will however, be blown away by the species that have made their home here. After branching out from Africa, Madagascar evolved differently. In turn, the island became known to shelter world’s most unique flora and fauna.

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mustvisitdestinations.com


The animals and plants are unlike the rest of Africa. Madagascar also boasts of being home to all six species of the majestic baobab tree. Like I said, Madagascar is unique in her own way.


GHANA

Home of the Kente and Swiss chocolate. Yes, Swiss chocolate is actually from Ghana. This country maintains her royal families too. They may not be as influential as they were back then; they still however, have a large following.

Ghanian-queensFitness Goddess • Instagram

In fact the government recognizes Ghanaian Kings and Queens. They get to hold public ceremonies and festivals am looking forward to. To celebrate a people, their culture and their rich history and maybe hopefully get married to one of their young prince, just saying. It could happen, you never know.
Lastly,


EGYPT

The pyramids, why else would anyone go to Egypt if not for the pyramids. For me, it’s the sphinx first before the pyramids. Did you know the sphinx is a woman in a cat’s body? Egyptians were obsessed with cats. The fact that they made one with a woman’s head is fascinating to say the least.

The sphinx in EgyptAncient Egypt Official • Instagram

The pyramids are beautiful and hold secrets to an amazing civilization. The sphinx on the other hand is my number one reason to visit Egypt.

There you go my continental travel bucket list.

Which African countries do you plan to visit in the near future? Let me know in the comments section.

Featured image by islandoriginsmag.com

My Culture In Brief. Day 18/30

Am East African and from the Agikuyu tribe. Allow me to take you through my culture, our traditions and beliefs.

It’s a well-known fact the Kikuyus were the most documented tribe in Kenya. There’s so much you can learn online but let me tell you a few things.

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During wedding ceremonies, the couple would plant a tree together in their homestead. I feel like, this is something we should bring back to encourage people to plant trees. Imagine all the trees we could plant in a year. I mean, there’s a wedding happening every Saturday if am not wrong.

After initiation it is often a tradition to let the new man of the house to have his own home. So for most of us in the urban areas, the servants squatters is a good fit. Our culture dictates that the son can no longer live with his family and must now start his own elsewhere.

A cook out is not a cook out without slaughtering a goat. It’s an honour for the guests and it also appeases our ancestors. Too bad, African cook outs are not for vegans.

Another great addition to the cook out is traditional beer made by women. The beer has to properly ferment days before the big day. Muratina or kikuyu traditional beer is a must drink on the cook out.

Kikuyus traditionally faced Mt. Kenya during prayers. Although most of them are now Christians and partially Muslims, Mt. Kenya plays an important role in their lives. We still have Kikuyus who pray facing the mountain, including myself.

So there goes a short introduction to my culture.

5 Off Beat Places To Visit In Kenya. Day 17/30

My country is one of the best places to vacay over the holidays. (No, I didn’t get paid to say that.) It’s always sunny, so a weekend at the beach is a must. Maybe a hike is your type of thing.

Thing is, tourists tend to visit and show up in the most usual places, National parks, Malindi beaches, Mt. Kenya etc.

So I made a list of a few places worth your time. Time to hit the road.

Turkana

Lake Turkana

This county is a haven for people who love hiking. Its vast land makes it a go to place for hikers and campers. Lake Turkana also offers great sights, like islands and sandy beaches. This place is also not overcrowded offering a quiet and peaceful experience.

Samburu

Like the Maasai community, the Samburu are a semi nomadic tribe. They’re still conversant with their culture and proud of it. Samburu County boasts of exceptional sites and attractions, national parks and reserves. Lamu has the Lamu festival where they have a donkey race. In Samburu, you can participate in the Maralal international camel derby; it’s the only one in Kenya.

The best way of enjoying this county is by staying at community based lodges.

Meru

Meru National Park | Source Green Global Travl

I found out about this park in one of my trips to Meru County. I have family there so it was quite interesting to know about the park. Meru is only four hours away from Nairobi. The park is closer to town with many hotels so you’re sure to spend the weekend before heading home. This park is full of life.

The people are out of this world amazing. Ever had banana wine before? Ask around and you’ll find women making some. Give it time to get used to the taste, you

Machakos

There’s a hill in Machakos that defies the laws of gravity. Tourists actually only visit this area to put it to test.

If you want to see your drink flow up a hill, the Kituluni Hills in Machakos should be your next stop.

Kakamega

Source Safari254

Kit Mikaye in Kakamega is a tourist destination. One has to trek for few minutes from the main road to get to it. That being said, why not find your way to the Kakamega Rain forest. The only rain forest in Kenya.

The weather around this area is unpredictable. It could rain one minute, get sunny in the other. Come prepared.

This forest is a haven for many animals, birds and tree species.

10 Best Travel Destinations in Kenya We Absolutely Love

Thinking of travelling to a new place for a relaxing and breathtaking experience? Do you have an idea of the best places to visit in Kenya? Do you want to have the best travel experience? Below are some of the best destinations to visit in Kenya.

1. Amboseli National Park.

Crowned by Mount Kilimanjaro, the Amboseli view is out of this world breathtaking. One can be able to view the Big 5 up close. There is also over 600 species of birds making it the perfect place for anyone who enjoys birding.

Amboseli National Park • Source UGC

2. Maasai Mara

It’s famous for the spectacular wildebeest migration. The reserve has a wide variety of wild animals such as the Big 5. One can also enjoy the magnificent sight while on a hot air balloon.

Maasai Mara • Source UGC

3. Lake Nakuru

It’s the most popular lake due to an abundant of pink flamingoes. Surrounded by a national park you can enjoy a cool game drive.

Lake Nakuru National Park • Source UGC

4. Giraffe Centre

Located 5km from the Capital city, the Giraffe Centre is an ideal place to have a view of giraffes. The giraffes are used to humans and are friendly, so one can feed and bond with them.

Giraffe Centre • Source UGC

5. Mount Kenya

Love to go hiking? Mount Kenya offers a perfect hiking experience and a diversity of flora and fauna.

Mt. Kenya • Source UGC

6. Mombasa Island

It is the best place to enjoy attractive scenery, beautiful beaches and marine life. It also hosts the historic site, Fort Jesus, built by the Portuguese from 1593-1596.

Mombasa Island • Source UGC

7. Nairobi National Park

This park within the city is the only one to exist in the world. One can enjoy a variety of wildlife ranging from zebras, baboons, ostriches, rhinos among others. Best part, it’s easily accessible and only a drive away from the city.

Nairobi National Park • Source UGC

8. Bomas of Kenya

It is located 10km from Nairobi. It showcases Kenya’s diverse culture and heritage. One can enjoy traditional dances and aerobatics.

Bomas of Kenya • Source UGC

9. Nairobi Safari Walk

One can enjoy a nice walk and get a closer look at some of the animals such as lions,cheetahs,leopards,buffalo and many others.

Nairobi Safari Walk • Source UGC

10. Karura Forest

It is only a few kilometres away from the city. It covers an area of about 1000ha. One can enjoy a leafy area away from the hustle and bustle of Nairobi. One can also enjoy the serenity of the nature. Cycling and nature walks are highly encouraged.

Karura Forest • Source UGC

What’s your next travel destination?

My Dream Life So Simple. Day 2/30

My dream life is simple, nothing fancy. Its basically how I vision myself living in my 70s or 80s.I’ve reached that age where relatives look at me weird. They whisper among themselves. I know, because, they’ll often ask me about my boyfriend and wonder why am not pregnant yet. Then discuss among them on what could be the problem.

Maybe it’s because there is no boyfriend. I thought by making up an imaginary man, they’ll leave me alone. It didn’t work. In fact, it made things worse. It’s been a few years into the ‘relationship’ maybe it time for a break up. Am sorry Patrick, it’s not me, it’s you.

I get questioned during family cook outs. No. I get interrogated. Good cop bad cop Hollywood style. Its for this reason I made a vision board. A vision board that was more about my future and the kind of life I wanted for myself. I have flags of countries I plan on visiting. Mountains I plan to climb and food am dying to try. Yes aunties, I want to climb Mt. Kilimanjaro before I start popping off kids. You’ll just have to wait.

Armed with my digital vision board, my dream life looks something like this…

Land and goats

Unlike the rest of the world, I dream of a quiet life free from everyone but family. That is, after am done exploring this planet. A house on a few hundred acres if that’s not too much to ask. I also wouldn’t mind a ranch if possible. The number of goats I wish to have on my land will depend on one thing. If there’s enough room for grazing am getting more goats. Am sure you’re asking, why goats? Why not cows or sheep? Well, let me tell you something about goats and Kikuyu women, we’re like this.

End of story.

My Health

The other day, I spoke to the big guy in the sky. I rarely do, but on this day I did. I only asked for one thing since we don’t talk that much. You can blame it on the internet. The internet ruined our partnership. Anyway, we both agreed after few minutes of awkwardness, that I shall live to 100yrs, not 99, not 101, but 100yrs. I plan to maintain clean and healthy habits, free from stress and any bad energy. Basically, a life without men (if possible) and If all goes well, I’ll be that stylish 90yr old grandma who can’t catch a cold. Believe that.

64yr old Wendy Ida. She started working out at 43.

Nature

I’ve lived in Nairobi my whole life. My best memories of it, is leaving it. Don’t get me wrong, Nairobi is amazing, if you know your way around it. I love being able to access everything but, that’s just not enough.Every December we would visit my grandma as kids. It’s kind of a Kenyan thing to take your kids to the village during the holidays. Even though we only stayed a few weeks, those were the best days of my life. I loved being around trees and nature, taking out the cows and goats to graze and zero distractions from technology. In my defense, this was the 90s. You were lucky if your grandma had a radio.

Mau Forest in Kenya by CIFOR

To this day, I hope where I finally settle down there’ll be plenty of trees. If not, I will plant some, for my grandchildren.

What’s your dream life like? Tell me about it in the comments.

Don’t forget to share.

5 Ways You’re Wrong About Trophy Hunting In Africa

Hunting, to some people, is considered a sport. Trophy hunting in Africa however, is poaching. I call it poaching because frankly, the idea of hunting down wild animals as a sport irks me. I mean, out of all the sports known to man, someone settled on hunting. Worse still, are the reasons people make to justify their sick sport.

Allow me to break down some of these misconceptions.

“Animals killed, provide meat and nutrition for the neighboring tribes”

I blame this on the media. First of all, tribes living near wildlife reserves and national parks do not go around killing giraffes, rhinos and elephants for meat. They have domesticated animals for meat, milk, and eggs. These tribes opt out of hunting large animals. Some go for small ones that get easily caught in traps or killed with poison arrows like gazelles. If indeed they hunt down elephants, where would they store the extra meat?

Don’t believe me? Here are tribesmen that didn’t even hunt. They took a piece of meat from a pack of lions and left. The badassery.

Small animals are hunted once in a while and eaten whole. The surplus is preserved for a day or two. These tribes that hunt are also small in number meaning, there’s a balance between the animals they consume and the ones that get born. These tribes do not have the technology to hunt down large animals. They go hunting in groups of three or four, so how would they bring down an elephant with nothing but bows and arrows?

“Trophy hunting controls the population”

Thanks to global warming and human-wildlife conflict and other factors, the number of wild animals is steadily decreasing. Hunters and poachers moonlighting as tourists hunt these animals pushing them to extinction. It’s scary how the numbers are decreasing. In Kenya alone, the number of lions has gone from 50,000 to less than 5,000. Don’t even get me started on the elephants, the gentle giants.

“Brittany” cuddles with a dead leopard she had killed

Even in the driest of deserts, there’s an eco-system. Some die to provide food and shelter to others. It’s natural and beautiful but let human beings come in and play God. Yikes! Some of these animals decrease in number due to low birth rates like the rhinos. Humans are in no way helping them by hunting them down.

“Trophy hunting will help kill off the old, infertile animals”

First time I heard this sorry excuse, was when Prince William tried to justify his love for trophy hunting in Africa. I have a question; if indeed trophy hunting is only for old and infertile animals, why hasn’t anyone ‘hunted’ the queen? Isn’t she old too and infertile? If we don’t kill off our elders why should we kill off theirs? This is also the same guy who hides behind the conservation of wildlife in Africa.

Leave these animals alone and let them die peacefully of old age. Allow nature to do what does she does best.

“In Africa, trophy hunting is perfectly legal”

For some African countries, trophy hunting is allowed but here’s the dirty side of it. When trophy hunting was made legal in places like Zimbabwe or South Africa, these laws were made by white people. Africans had little to no say at all. Trophy hunting was for the elite colonialists. They were in government, they ran national parks and they also had a market to sell their hunt. Colonization didn’t just affect the people, it also affected the wildlife. Illegal trophy hunting still continues even though countries have repelled those laws for conservation.

Sadly, White people still own hunting companies in parts of Africa.

“Money paid for trophy hunting uplifts the community or adds to a country’s economy”

How? Can someone explain to me how dead animals are beneficial to a country? It’s more profitable when wildlife is alive and free in reserves and national parks. The belief that Africa is so poor that we need hunting money is insulting, to say the least. This money never contributes to anything but greed.

They’ll give you numbers like hunters pay about 12,000$ to hunt a lion or elephant. But think about it for a second. These people will come here, kill off our animals, take pictures, and then go back to their homes. That money won’t even help the communities that benefit from tourists. Now that there are no lions, will tourists visit the place? Will the residents be able to sell the work to them? No.

Trophy hunting destroys people’s lives. It’s the women who are most affected but yeah, here’s some 12,000$ for hunting companies.

Only one group benefits from trophy hunting, the hunters. The adrenaline they get when they track and hunt down these animals. The trophies they take home to show off to their friends. The pictures they take for social media. They don’t care if they kill off a whole species as long as their hunt looks pretty. So next time you defend hunters, think about all the species humans have prematurely driven to extinction.

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