kenyan coast

Lake Jipe et al.; Exploring County 006, Part 1

The Kenyan coast has to come up any time you do a random search of places to visit in Kenya.

“It has to be different this time”, you say.

Your journey to Taita Taveta County will most likely be characterized by smooth roads, well, up until Taveta town. There are also high chances of spotting one, or many, humongous red elephants. They will be striding in indescribable majesty across the extensive plains, crossing the road once in a while right in front of your car just to remind you who is king.


kenyan coast

You will then see a bird that you have definitely not seen before. It makes you start wondering when birding became one of the hobbies to consider. It is going to be an interesting trip, for sure. Or maybe, birds do not intrigue you. Still lost in thought on how close the elephant came, a zebra donkeywalks past the car. Such grace.

The rest of the journey will stir so many thoughts. Depending on your crew also, you’ll ask who owns the huge chunks of land, and how amazing it would be to have just a piece, away from the insanity that is our cities.

Simple KWS bandas will be your home for the next two days or so. The highly effective and friendly staff show you around. You already feel at home. It’s also worth noting that there will be hippos roaming the ground when night strikes. The elephants pop in anytime. They constantly need water.

kenyan coast

Some people in your crew forgot what “good” food tastes like. They never have the time to cook given their crazy schedules. Lucky for them, however, there is a fast food right outside their estate. Deliveries are free too. Tonight is unusual. Fresh fish was given as a “welcome gift” by the rangers. You also knew it was to be on a self-catering basis. Potatoes are a constant; ugali is for the rich.

kenyan coast

Bitter stuff probably makes you see the stars better, or at least appreciate them more. Funny it’s almost impossible to do bitter vegetables. You sip.

Tomorrow will come. That message is extremely clear from the moon’s brightness. When it does, you will rise and go explore.

You’ve heard that it is a pretty unexplored land. You don’t want to go overboard, but it seems appropriate to rise before the sun. Maybe then you’ll resonate with its persistence and the extent of its sufficiency. It’s not your everyday rounded mass of stuff. Okay, it’s probably an everyday one – unless you’re from the North Pole.

kenyan coast

It arrives on time. You two are quite the opposites! It illuminates the sky in a way that one will never understand for as long as they live. It then becomes clear that the swift deer, the beautiful bushbuck, and other herbivores you’ve not seen before were also waiting for daybreak. The light is comforting, you think. It also increases visibility. That could be dangerous, or not. It presents an (almost) equal chance for everyone to thrive. At the end of the day, however, tales differ. Fewer antelopes will go to sleep, a few others will be birthed, a teenage lioness will be crowned queen for the hunt she brought home…

kenyan coast

Lake Jipe stares at the sun, unshaken. It understands immortality. The villagers depend on her, and she has delivered – as far as she is concerned. Do still waters run deep? “It’s morning; stop overthinking,” you bash yourself. You want to have something to skim over during break at your boring or not-so-boring workplace. That calls for thousands of shots; nature is always the perfect model.

kenyan coast

The reeds surrounding the lake are the ultimate hiding place for the hippopotamus. They’ll constantly remind you of their presence by making distinctive noises. Dozens of birds will land there occasionally. You’re now certain that birding is one of your hobbies.

kenyan coast

Breakfast is made up of everything you barely use at home, especially fish. Don’t judge! You’re open to whatever the day brings. You still find it funny most times when we think of the Kenyan coast only beaches come to mind.

The patient ranger has to explain to you for the hundredth time why the hill you sighted is not hikeable. Surely hyenas, lions, and elephants can’t be that dangerous 😛

A castle sounds like something you would like especially given the original owner was called Grogan.

kenyan coast

At least this castle hasn’t been converted into a tavern, yet 🙂

That sounds like the perfect way to spend an afternoon. You are tired from the journey but you want to hear none of that. The body obeys. You, your crew, and your curiosity head out to the castle. It’s the highest reachable point, after all. Well, except the unhikeable hill you’re still keen on deciphering.

kenyan coast

The Grogan castle is a combination primeval architecture and some traces of modernity. The staff there is unbothered. There’s most likely some girls in the crew. Even better, it’s an all-girls party. They are a cool blend of we-have-to-take-1000-selfies and given-the-sun’s-position-we-can-take-the-best-landscape-pictures. So, the staff are just outliers.

kenyan coast

They won’t even offer masala tea, SMH.

kenyan coast

History lesson. Quite interesting articles, BTW.

kenyan coast

It is almost frustrating that TZ got all the hills 🙁
But seriously, that’s Tanzania across the lake

Back home where you can learn how to smoke fish. Better still, watch others fry theirs.

kenyan coast

He asked me to tell you that he’s the best in frying fish.

The boat awaits. A streak of colors stretch across the sky, each trying to be as noticeable as they can. It reminds you of individuality. Now, you have two options: to go for an animal ride or go across the river – into Tanzania. There’s never a wrong choice.

kenyan coast

The captain.

Still waters do run deep. It’s most likely your first time seeing so many hippos together.

kenyan coast

You will not stop thinking about how well Mambo Mbaya (you may or may not forget the pseudo name he used) knows Lake Jipe. His understanding is enough to let him know which route to use and all that. He also knows whether or not the elephants will be coming for an evening drink. You pray. The universe blesses you with a herd of giraffes. Gratitude.

kenyan coast

No two mornings are alike. The sun radiates differently, the birds are singing to a different tune… TO BE CONTINUED.

kenyan coast

Cheers to wild experiences!

… Part 2

You will say goodbye to Leah. She will give you a kiss on the cheek – that’s how you know it was mutual.

You will go back to your crowded city wishing you were in the Kenyan Coast, more specifically Taita Taveta County – just like I do daily!

PS: As always, it’s impossible to fit all images in one post. Follow on Instagram for cooler stuff 😉

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  • Jeen Gichuhi
    June 14, 2017 at 6:36 pm

    Now there atleast I get to read the experience of someone who love to travel explain how my all favourite hideout destination in Kenya is a truly an undisturbed paradise. Lake Jipe is my all favourite destination that I always go and assured I will be alone in the wild and nature, hope you had the best hideout experience

    • wachera
      June 14, 2017 at 6:58 pm

      Thanks for a lovely comment 🙂 There is too much to say about Jipe and Taveta in general, it almost seems unreal. The people in the village and at the camp were extraordinary too – I would not think twice about going back.

  • Loise Tiffany
    June 16, 2017 at 10:16 am

    Ati he’s got the best fiish? Nice article though. Atleast one kknows what to expect when going to TZ.

    • wachera
      June 16, 2017 at 3:16 pm

      Thank you. The part of Jipe that I talked about is in Kenya. The hills you see on that other side? That’s TZ 🙂


About Wachera



I can’t keep calm! That’s probably the worst tag line ever, but it’s true. I have tried finding fulfilment from settling down and focusing on one activity and place, but I failed terribly. Okay, I should probably start by telling you who I am. My name is Wachera, a daughter of the African soil. Just recently, I realized that Wachera is native for “the one who loves travelling” . Read more

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