‘Karibu’ means ‘welcome’ in Swahili and it was the first thing I heard as I got off the plane. On landing at Nairobi airport, we headed straight to the Sarova Stanley hotel, where we were booked to stay. Located in the very heart of Nairobi, near its vibrant city centre and other shopping markets, this heritage hotel has been voted the best in Kenya at the World Travel awards, described by the Wall Street Journal as the ‘Oscars’ of the global travel and tourism industry. It was grand indeed. After checking in, we headed for lunch to its famous outdoor Thorn Tree Café which had functioned as the oldest post office in Kenya many, many years ago.
After lunch, we headed out to Nakuru. Nakuru is a little town in Kenya, far from the madness of the main city, making it more peaceful and friendly compared to Nairobi.How to reach: Nakuru is about 160 kilometres from Nairobi. Driving down takes about an hour and a half to reach.
Visit the picturesque offshore island of Lamu
Taking a Bath Under the Stars at Elsa’s Kopje As the room attendant showed us around Elsa’s Kopje, a luxury safari camp in arid Northern Kenya, my husband and I both eyed the outdoor bathtub built into the rocks high on an escarpment overlooking the majestic African bush. We were bleary-eyed after over 24 hours of travel time to the beginning of our African honeymoon. A bath was in order, and this just happened to be the most luxurious, decadent bath we’d ever seen. And so there we were, taking a bath in the middle of the day and drinking champagne. Not a bad way to start off our honeymoon!
DAY 19 - Leaving Uganda behind, we will head back over the border into Kenya, approx. 300 kms to the cheese town of Eldoret. We will spend the night at the Naiberi River Campsite. Naiberi is considered to be nature’s own creation, designed to take it’s guests as far back as the stone age with a little touch of modern day luxury. It is created on a hilly forest tribal land, which was once home to members of the ancient Sirikwa tribe. Preserved on the site are excavations with stone sides, commonly called Sirikwa holes, which are believed to have been roofed and occupied by the inhabitants of a bygone age. The campsite is Indian owned and so in the night we will feast on an included Indian Dinner.
I am writing a separate post on Shela ( its is on the Lamu Island) because it's got all the reason to stand out from the Lamu Town. If you want the feel of a private beach, relish the tropical fruits, enjoy the ocean wind at night along with the magical noise of the waves, Shela is the place to be.Located 4 km southeast of Lamu town, Shela is easily accessible by boat (15 min) or by foot (30 min) from the Lamu town. Houses in Shela are located in placid alleyways surrounded by palm trees and bright bougainvilleas.Relax and eat - If you don't want to stay in the middle of the hustle-bustle of the busy port of Lamu, then book a place in Shela without any doubt. Take an early morning walk along the white sand beaches or simply observe the tides come in and go. Shela has an abundance of mango trees and coconut. Early morning breakfast will definitely comprise of a cut mango and freshly squeezed passion fruit juice. You can accompany the fishermen to practice your skills in the water. The town sleeps early , hence be sure to arrange your dinner well in advance and inform the host. Shela is the home to the famous Yoga centre at Fatuma's tower run by a British guy named Gillies. For KES750, you can also attend a class of yoga in the evening. If not that, just stare at the night sky and count the endless stars.Explore - Nestled along the sand dunes of the beach, the fort of Shela stands tall, all secluded and calm. Located at the back of the village, it's just a 10 min walk from the town. Influenced by Omani architecture, you can have a look at what it offers here.Dhow trip - A dhow trip to the ruins of Takwa or Matadoni is a must when in Lamu. If you do not have an entire day to do that, you can book a sundowner with the captain giving you a ride on Manda waters and witnessing the sunset from there. However, be cautious of booking the trip with a trusted captain as many locals might try to fool you for money. Always check with your host if the captain is not a junkie and ensure your safety.Candle light dinner - Whether you are staying at a five star like Peponi or you have parked yourself in the cosy Swahili house of Fatuma's Tower, the beauty of having a candle light dinner under the well lit sky makes the whole experience so dreamy. All the places at Shela offers the perfect setting and hospitality.Live the Swahili culture - The typical disarming Swahili heartiness found in the locals makes it painful to leave this part of the town. Fatuma Tower's gave me a real Swahili experience with the whole compound designed to reflect the historic significance of the Swahili architecture. The beautiful peacock painted mirrors, open galleries, four post beds and shells all around teleports you in that era.Make Shela a part of your next beach holiday.Some photos from the trip