Travel Report Kenya
24.06. - 04.08.2014
24.08. - 07.09.2014
1€ = ca. 118,50 Kenyan Shilling Status 07/2014
0,89 € /Ltr
Omorate / Illeret and Loitokitok
Lunga Lunga and Suam
Part I > Omorate/Illeret - Lunga Lunga 24.06. - 04.08.2014 2.040 km
From Omorate a narrow partly sandy track leads towards Lake Turkana to the first village on the Kenyan side, Illeret. Originally a settlement of the Dasanech, this dusty place t today exists beside some few round huts of the former British police station, a mission of the Benedictines under the direction of Father Florian and a water-aid project of the German Malteser. A shop or anything like you’ll find nowhere. Nevertheless, the lakeside village of Turkana has something fascinating.
We stay on the grounds of the Mission and so we have the chance to get into conversation with Father Florian and with Günter and Stefan, both conduct a water-aid project of the Malteser. The Bavarian Father shows us the mission and talks about his work and his experiences in more than 11 years in the Kenyan bush. When he arrived here, there was nothing here, now there are a mission house and a big car repair shop, so that it creates employment and training opportunities for young people in the town. Currently seven guys are living in the mission to go into the city to school. One can clearly see that his work and his faith fulfill him. He gets involved with all the work himself and seems thereby totally down to earth.
He says among other things that with the Dasanech girls are definitely still circumcised and it is not uncommon that the girls are married off at the age of 12 years and give birth to their first child. Its white monk's robe that he wears to the services is getting on in years. He has a firm handshake, almost like a construction worker and when he tells how he convinced the natives that their children should go to school, he smiles mischievously and his bright eyes flash like the Lake Turkana in the background. Ora et labora is his credo. It is hard to believe that Father Florian, born as Franz-Josef Prince of Bavaria, is the great-grandson of King Ludwig II.
Around 11:00 clock we continue. Because many of the recommendations by Father Florian, who knows the area like no other, we take the path around the outside of the Sibiloi National Park. It is a partly sandy track through bush and savanna country. Over the course it becomes a scree slope and also has quite large stones. In the beautiful countryside the first oryx, small ikdiks and springbok appear. In three days, we are traveling around the park, we see one vehicle the one from the Swiss contractor Henry, who is on his way to Father Florian. He is a broken coach spring. Otherwise, we only meet some natives with animals. For overnight we stay away from the track near the lake.
Life around the lake is lonely and full of privation. ...read more...
Part II >> Nairobi to the North West 24.08. - 07.09.2014 888 km
Back in Nairobi we treat ourselves a nice dinner in the Italian Osteria in the Karen district. The team is so excited about our truck and our plan that we are even allowed to stay in their garden. Of course, the entire team from dishwasher to manager wants a "castle tour", which then also takes place with a loud "chatter". We are pleased with them.
The next morning we move back into the Jungle Junction of Chris, where we spend the next six days trying to get everything done which did not get done and make some repairs.
Finally we start again afterwards. After we have replenished our supplies in Karen, we make our way to the "Banana Hill Road". Everyone can drive out of Nairobi simply. This road leads through vast coffee and especially tea plantations, past large farms that are still white-owned. And would we not know that we are in Africa, we would believe that we landed in England. Even the grass verge next to the road is lovingly planted with flowers and the grass of the side strip has golf course quality. This area is a piece of the settlement history of Kenya. So great and noble farm houses are,, unless they can be seen behind the giant hedges, so small and narrow, the houses of the tea pickers and workers are.
Soon we are in Limura, this today, however very run-down and desolate city, should once be the capital of Kenya, for various reasons this was not successful. Today it is not a place where you want to stay long, unless you want to buy shoes in the factory store of Bata. The next kilometers we drive along a mountain ridge, this fact allows beautiful views of the surrounding countryside. Due to the heavy rain of the last few weeks everything is deep green. In the distance we see the volcano Longonot. It is only one of many different sized volcanoes in the African grave breach or more beautiful said in the "Rift Valley".
We remain on the "Road of Horror" to the north (so called because an incredible amount of traffic and daring overtaking result in many accidents). At Uplands we again enjoy the beautiful view into the African grave breach and just behind we drive from 2800m down to 2200m to the lake Naivasha. This lake is one from two freshwater lakes in the African grave breach and to this day nobody knows where the outflow of the lake is. The area around the lake is a recreational area of the people from Nairobi and it is also huge agricultural area. Hundreds of greenhouses line the streets in these roses are grown for shipment to Europe. In between vegetable production takes place again and again, water for irrigation is available by the lake so plentiful. ... read more ...
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Straight away - Kenya has much more to offer than just the famous national parks such as the Masai Mara, Amboseli and Tsavo. The country has to offer a lot of natural beauties and beyond, they are still there, the areas in which nature is not yet fully developed for tourism, albeit few.
But first things first.
Informed by our media, we have arrived at an extremely cautious attitude to Kenya. Actually we wanted just passing through the fastest way, so bad the raids, robberies and especially the terror attacks were described.
Already along the first kilometers on Lake Turkana, we felt comfortable. People were always very friendly, welcoming and facing to us. We experienced the traveling in Kenya being safe. Granted we avoided Lamu, the region most affected by the terrorist attacks, with a heavy heart, and also Mombasa we only passed through, when we heard of several thwarted attacks by the police, in the local media.
The country suffers greatly from the lack of tourism. The revenues are missing. The fantastic beaches of the Indian Ocean are almost deserted.
The people in Kenya are poor, partly the helplessness is written on their faces, yet they laugh, are hearty and they are very happy about any given attention. The general cost of living in the country is high for the local population. Many of the offers in the supermarkets they cannot afford simply. A Chef earns the equivalent of about € 450 a month.
Of which the school fees for the children must then also be paid. Only the Primary School is free of charge, apart from the school uniform. Better education costs. And so it is that with large families very often only one or two children go to school. But after all, education is very important and there is at least a primary school in almost every small village.
The streets unfortunately are mostly very bad and kept in poor state.
The entry fees to the fantastic National Parks are in our opinion totally overpriced for travelers like us.
There is still so much to do in this country, it lacks many corners.
We very much hope that the people of Kenya may finally come to rest, and the overall security situation will become stable again to allow tourism to restart again and so money will be flushed into the coffers.
These funds are then hopefully fed to their proper destination.
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