Yes those are lions in the bush behind us…
Selfies by Michelle
First off let me say Kenya was ahhhmazing. We had an unbelievably awesome experience. This trip will go down as one of my absolute faves. I’ll dedicate the next post to our 4-day safari, which included a night in Tsalvo East, a night in the prettiest tent I’ve ever slept in at Amboeseli park, and a night at Salt Lick lodge at Taita hills. I’m still processing all that we saw during those four days.
This post will just show off some pics and remind folk of how adaptable you should become when traveling to an African country. Lights and water pressure will go out, bugs will be big, baboons will bully you, snakes might end up in your room (it was a really tiny baby one, but holy hell did it scare us), and sweat will become your second skin. You’ll see some shit, you’ll smell some shit (um sometimes literally), and you’ll taste and hear some shit, but me oh my if you can get past the stuff that you find ugly or unsettling you will be amazed by the grace and beauty that surrounds you. If you can remember to live by Hakuna Matata and have a good sense of humour about it all, you’ll have a blast and do things like brush your teeth with gin when you realise whoops no bottled water.
Our first night was at Bamburi Beach in a place called Ziwa Beach Hotel, and it was perfect. We slept in what felt like a tree house, which had an outdoor patio that included a swing and view of the beach and pool. I’m not sure of all that we consumed, but the mosquitos didn’t have a chance with our blood. Luckily we also feasted on delicious vegetarian dishes that preserved the rest of our bodies. Bright and early the next morning, our amazing driver Moses picked us up for our safari. Four days later he dropped us off at the end of a long, oh-my-god-it-felt-like-it’d-never-end road, where a well-worn boat took us to Chalet island. If you do nothing else in your life, by all means do try to find a way to spend a few days on Chalet island, around 60 kilometres from Mombassa. It is everything you imagined a tropical island to be. For those of you who remember Fantasy Island, I totally expected Tattoo to announce our arrival.
There is only one resort on the island, The Sands, but it’s a good one with three lovely pools (one of them right across from the mangrove forest), a stunning beach, bright and cheery African decor, A/C humdallah that works!, and friendly staff. The baboons not so much, and I’m still ticked at the one who almost peed on us, but, for the most part, they’re chased away. Monkey drama is all part of the fun. I totally plan on visiting again with Joe.
Pool in a mangrove forest…yes, please
A few tips before I blast you with more pics. Make sure you have a lot of 100 Kenya shilling or American dollar bills. The people at the island resort or any of the hotels we visited don’t pester you for tips, but you’ll want to tip them. It can get a little overwhelming every where you go because staff members are so helpful, and they deserve every shilling you give them. Also, bring some candy and school supplies for the kids. It totally slipped my mind to pack these things, and it drove me crazy that I couldn’t give them to the kids we met in rural areas. Tourists are approached quite a bit by people trying to sell one thing or another, but if you politely say no and let them know you’re adamant about that no, they’ll thank you and move on. Some will stay and chat and really just want to laugh with you —- whalla! Not a single Kenyan treated me poorly, including the many, many people I said no to.
Take for example “Mr. Coconut,” whose souvenirs I did not buy, but he still walked me to a cove to show off these unreal starfish.
And then there is the nature. My words are useless here..
Even seaweed looks good
Good Moring sun! Photo taken by Michelle
And there is so much more to show you! But, I’m still on vacation finishing off my final off day in Dubai. I’ll post more when I have time and better wifi. I’ve only a few thousand photos to choose from. Animal lovers there are a ton of wildlife photos waiting to say hi to you.
La La Salama until next time!