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Women’s March on Nairobi

The Women’s March is global! If you’re in Nairobi and want to participate, I’ve cut and pasted the details below. You can see more on the Women’s March Facebook Page.

Details:

“Saturday, 21 January 2017 beginning at 10:00am at Karura Forest – backside of Amani Gardens at the Limuru Rd entrance (park at River Cafe parking if you are driving).

Endorsed by: Amnesty International Kenya, Center for Rights and Education Awareness (CREAW), Coalition for Grassroots Human Rights Defenders,COVAW (Coalition on Violence Against Women), Gay and Lesbian Coalition of Kenya (GALCK), HER VOICE, Human Rights Watch, Kenya Human Rights Commisision, Kenya Sex Workers Alliance, Minority Women in Action, National Gay and Lesbian Human Rights Commission, and Progressive Americans in Kenya.

THIS MARCH IS INCLUSIVE AND ALL ARE WELCOME.

On 21 January 2017 Nairobi will march in solidarity with our brothers and sisters in Washington D.C. and across the world.

The recent elections in the United States have shown how real the threat is to our collective rights and liberties. We march together for the protection of our rights, our safety, our families, our health and the health of our planet – recognising that our vibrant and diverse communities are the strength of our society.

The marches were initiated by women in the US, standing together for the rights of women, Black, minority, ethnic and refugee groups, immigrants of all statuses, those with diverse religious faiths, people who identify as LGBTQIA, people with disabilities, the economically impoverished, and survivors of sexual assault, recognising that an attack on one, is an attack on us all.

Here in Kenya we will march to demand reproductive rights, women’s land and inheritance rights, and the implementation of the 2/3 rule. We will march to endsexual harassment and assault, female genital mutilation, and the trafficking of women and children; and to end discrimination against LGBTQ people, sex workers, disabled women, HIV positive women, refugee women, women in the informal sector and other marginalized groups.

This march is the first step of a progressive alliance across the world, built by individuals, groups and communities who together will be the voice of a new global consciousness.

Help get out the word!

The March on Washington Facebook Page is here, with links to individual state pages and pages for marches in other countries:https://www.facebook.com/events/2169332969958991/

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Game Drive at Lake Nakuru National Park

The Christmas weekend was spent in Nakuru. On the 24th we decided to do a full day game drive. I highly recommend doing the full day drive, taking your lunch with you. You get to spend more time out and about and you get to have your lunch out in the bush.

I also recommend not doing too many days in Nakuru. It’s a small park. You only need a day or two max. We spent one day and we saw the whole park, not to mention a ton of animals.

The big attraction in Nakuru is rhino. We saw 11 white rhino altogether. I’ve been on a few game drives now and I’ve never seen so many rhino in one day, or even one safari.

White rhino

White rhino

That said, I’ve been on a game drives and I was plenty impressed by Nakuru. It’s small, but the park is gorgeous and filled with wildlife. In addition to rhino, we saw lion, hippo, a rock hyrax, plenty of giraffe and zebra and much more.

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We also saw a lot of birds.

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One thing to note is that Lake Nakuru no longer attracts as many flamingo as before. That’s because the lake is flooded, although it is starting to recede. In the photo below you can see a road sign that is now in the lake.

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If you’re in Nairobi, definitely make the three hour drive to spend a weekend in Nakuru. If you’re traveling to Kenya, there are plenty of airstrips around Nakuru. You can easily add it into a bigger safari and fly in from (or off to) the Mara or Samburu from there. Either way, local or globetrotter, you want Nakuru on your list.

Christmas Morning Bike Ride

Everyone does the holidays differently. We all have our own traditions. J. and I prefer experiences over presents. Christmas 2015, our morning was spent hiking along Mount Kenya. This past Christmas, we were in Nakuru and Christmas morning was spent biking along the Soysambu Conservancy.

It was a beautiful day and a really fun ride. Here is some video from our ride.

Bike Ride in Soysambu from curriedpotato on Vimeo.

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Review: Mbweha Camp

For our Christmas holiday we chose to stay at the Mbweha Camp. The camp borders against Lake Nakuru National Park, so you are right by the park but not in it (read: park fees only for when you go to the park).

We liked that it was outside of the park because we only wanted to do a game drive one day. We opted to do that on Christmas Eve during the day. We went with one of the drivers from the camp and had a wonderful time. More on that in a later post.

Christmas day we went for a guided bike ride around the Soysambu Conservancy, where the camp is located. The mountain bikes were in pretty good condition and our guide was a professional cyclist. It was a great way to spend Christmas morning. If you want to do things other than a game drive, I really recommend staying at Mwbeha. They can accommodate a ton of activities in or out of the park.

The camp itself is a small camp with handful of cottages so it’s nice and cozy. The grounds are small but nice. There is a pool—not a lap pool, more for relaxing. The lobby/lounge area is open (still covered) and airy with plenty of room for guests. There’s an amazing fire pit in the center.

Our room, the Impala cottage, was really nice. The cottages are all lava stone with thatched roofs. The decor was beautiful. The bathroom was great with a nice shower and hot water at all times.

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Sign toward our cottage


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Patio outside the cottage


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Our room


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Another angle


Room at the Mbweha Camp

Bathroom

Our room was a little on the dark side and there wasn’t much in the way of outlets. If you have long hair or thick hair or otherwise need a hairdryer, this will be a problem. I had to use the outlet behind the bed. It was a bit awkward to go dry my hair behind the bed and then run over to the mirror to see what my hair was looking like. I eventually gave up. My hair is medium thick but shorter now so I could get away with just combing it back.

Service was good, maybe hovering a little, but not too much. Food…well…that part is hard to say. It started out amazing.

Our first day there the food was excellent. It was a la carte. Breakfast was made to order. Our Christmas lunch that we took to the park was amazing. Then it changed.

The food shifted to buffet style and wasn’t as good as it was before. Maybe there was a shift in the chef? Maybe it was because more people arrived at the camp? We don’t know what happened.

It wasn’t awful, just no longer amazing. (It’s hard to go from amazing to okay.) The one thing that did really annoy us is that Christmas dinner wound up being a last minute bush dinner. This is the type of thing you should tell guests ahead of time. I, and several other guests, would have dressed quite differently had I known earlier that dinner would be out in the bush.

When were we told? Right before we got shuttled off in the vehicle to go to the site. It really was last minute.

Still, overall, we really loved Mbweha and we would go again. Maybe just not over a holiday.

 

 

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Holiday Recap

In 2015 we did a Christmas long weekend in Nanyuki. We liked doing that so much that we did a similar long weekend this past Christmas. This time, we decided to go to Nakuru.

It was a mostly pleasant three hour drive from Nairobi (the only snag was the traffic as we got close to Nakuru town). We spent three nights at the Mbweha Camp (review to come soon), which was lovely. While there, we spent a day at Nakuru National Park, one morning biking around the Soysambu Conservancy (you really can’t beat riding along with zebras!), and lots of relaxing. It was a great way to spend Christmas.

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Out of Africa View Point


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Setting up Christmas Eve Lunch


Christmas Lunch Overlooking the lake

Nice view!

We really love spending Christmas in Kenya and we plan to keep doing so for as long as we live here. It’s become our holiday tradition and I can’t think of a better way to spend Christmas. We’re thinking that for Christmas this year we’ll go spend a week in Lamu.

I’m curious about other expats. Do you go home? If you don’t, do you miss going home? Do you like spending the holidays abroad?