A LOOK AT KENYA THROUGH THE YEARS – PictureBlog 1914 – 1990s


A piece of paradise at Msambweni

One of my regrets whilst producing the TV show ‘Travel Diaries’ was not getting to travel with our camera crew as they  filmed a visit to Msambweni beach house. I remember my cousin, Alister, initially telling me about this unbelievable spot in Ukunda. He said there wasn’t any other place like it along the Kenyan coast and it would make a great destination to feature. Boy was that an understatement!


The owner of Msambweni beach house, Frederik Vanderhoeven, was kind enough to recently invite me over for a holiday. And my experience needs very few words… the pictures captured say it all.


The entrance to Msambweni house

This is truly a luxury holiday experience. One definitely worth putting on your bucket list. It’s about a 40 minute drive from the Ukunda airstrip at the coast and once I got to Msambweni, I could feel my body instantly relax. I guess it’s true, being by water calms, nurtures and recharges you.

In terms of accommodation, Msambweni boasts 3 luxurious private villas that each comfortably sleep 6 people. Each villa also has it’s own uniquely shaped swimming pool. I got to stay in my favourite, Villa 3, with its modern T-shaped infinity pool


Front door of Villa 3




Bed looking out to the sea




T shaped infinity pool

The main house has 3 spacious, luxury en-suite rooms with private verandahs plus a breathtaking 25 metre infinity pool


The main house infinity pool



Karibu Msambweni!

There’s also an Ocean suite perfect for couples seeking romance and privacy. Luxury meets rustic here, a tented room with a panoramic sea view.


In terms of activities, you can enjoy massages at the spa facing the sea, a gym, snorkelling, mountain biking, sailing or deep sea fishing as well as walks to the reef


Made it to the reef!



Enjoy a relaxing massage by the beach

Msambweni beach house also has self catering options for groups and i was especially please to find out they don’t charge corkage on drinks you choose to bring.




Blessed by nature

Experience this incredible piece of paradise for yourself, call +254 722 484 173 for holiday rates or check out Msambweni Beach House


MJ inspired pose at the beach 


No really… call +254 722 484 173 for holiday rates or check out Msambweni Beach House

Growing up in Kenya…Nostalgia

Thank you for sharing Joshua Mbaga… memories for those who grew up in Kenya in the 70’s and 80’s


Samburu land stretches from the foothills of Mt Kenya into the North, which makes up the wild beauty of Kenya’s outback. Here you will find open spaces, serenity and some of the best opportunities for game safaris as well as other outdoor activities.


Apart from the new tarmac road leading from Isiolo towards Marsabit, there is no other stretch of Kenya’s wild North so easily accessible.

Encounter the fascinating pastoralist culture of the Samburu people who lent the land their name and are also cousins of the famous Masai.

24 Jun 2012, Samburu National Reserve, Kenya --- Samburu warrior on top of Ololokwe mountain, Kenya --- Image by © Frederic Courbet/Corbis

24 Jun 2012, Samburu National Reserve, Kenya — Samburu warrior on top of Ololokwe mountain, Kenya — Image by © Frederic Courbet/Corbis


The Ololokwe mountain, the scared mountain where prayers are said and blessings are given, signifies you’re in Samburu land.


Saruni Samburu is surrounded by a private wildlife conservancy, and perched on a spectacular view point on top of the Kalama mountains, with an unbelievable view of Kenya’s wild north, right from your room.

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The vastness and purity of the Samburu landscape will make every visit a unique experience. So quiet, so serene, its beauty is jaw dropping!

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The Ewaso Nyiro River which means ‘brown water’ in Maa, the joint language of Masai and Samburu, flows from the misty Aberdare Range and Mt. Kenya through Samburu land before merging with the huge Lorian Swamp further to the East. This river’s water is the ultimate lifeline for man and his cattle as well as for the huge herds of game.

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Surrounded by doum palms and the sound of nature, once again, your body just relaxes. The scenery is picture perfect, you can truly feel the spirit of Samburu.

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Back at Saruni, a massage session like no other was waiting for me. It’d bet a good amount of money there isn’t one in the world that could compare! I think the picture says it all #MassageWithaView

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Perfect sundowners, remarkable vantage points, an extraordinary way to deepen your connection with Kenya’s northern frontier – Samburu.

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Saruni Reservations Office Contacts

Office mobile: +254 (0) 735 950 903
Office landline: +254 (0) 202 180 497

Reservations – reservations@saruni.com


*Thumps chest Tarzan style* “Bring on the adventure!!!!!” ….but wait, what are the chances of me dying here? Adventure sports is not for the faint hearted, which makes me probably the least suitable candidate for it! But hey, we had a Travel show to film, so i figured why not step out of my comfort zone?!

Luckily we live in a country that provides both unique and thrilling experiences when it comes to adventure sports. And we found a few great options that exist within the most beautiful natural settings, at the Savage Wilderness Camp.

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Sagana is a small town 100 kilometres north of Nairobi, the capital city of Kenya. It’s name comes from Kenya’s longest river, Tana River. Pass the Embu/Nyeri junction towards Nyeri, and then branch off onto a dirt road to the camp

Now imagine how pleased i was (NOT!!!) when i found out i had to tackle 2 activities in one day! Besides white water rafting, i was also going to experience my first ever bungee jump! (I threw up a little in my mouth) Sagana also offers outdoor activities, team building and zip lining across the river all under the close supervision of very professional staff.

White water rafting is a challenging activity using an inflatable raft to navigate a river. This is usually done in white water and different degrees of rough water, in order to thrill and excite (though that’s debatable) the raft passengers. Rafting in Kenya has been popular for over 20 years and has some of the best rafting on the continent.

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You don’t have to be in perfect shape nor do you need swimming skills for this. Just be mentally prepared for the various rapids and differing strengths and please pay attention when the instructor gives you tips on how to handle them.

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I have to admit, i ABSOLUTELY LOVED white water rafting! It was such a rush!

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We fell out a few times, were bounced around a lot and i must have swallowed 2 gallons of water when i took on the ‘Devils Toilet’. I think i must have i banged my head against a rock, as i was the first to volunteer to hurtle down into the dreaded Devils toilet bowl. You get swallowed and swished around in the water…kinda like being flushed around in a toilet bowl “Gulp gulp gulp”

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If you want to go totally nuts, (and i seemed to be surrounded by a lot of that) how about jumping off the waterfall along the route into the cool waters of the Tana River below

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Available too is Kayaking a challenging recreational activity using a plastic boat to navigate a river or other bodies of water. A physically challenging but thrilling experience!!!

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Bungee jumping is for the daring and has become more popular in Kenya too. The weight limit is between 40kg to 110 kgs, and you will be jumping off a custom built steel tower 200 meters above. With the view of the Tana river below.

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Feeling a sense of euphoria and confidence after surviving the rafting, i exclaimed in glee “Next we bungee jump!!!” And then i looked around and everyone else had taken off! Buggers!!!!

At the same venue, Bungeewalla Limited run a great bungee jump experience, off the tower right above the Tana River. First of all you’ll be weighed in to make sure you’re within the approved weight limit. And if you think a couple of tequilas will help take the edge off, forget it! You’re not allowed to attempt this whilst tipsy or otherwise (DARN IT)

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To be quite honest, the hardest part of the bungee jump for me was climbing up the 178 steps to the top of the tower. By the time i huffed and puffed my way up, i probably fell out the steel cage due to exhaustion more than anything 🙂

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I can’t really put into words what that fall felt like. There’s just nothing to quite describe it! Though if you were there to witness it, the words that I used the most were “Holy sh*t! aaarghhh!! Bleep Bleep AAAAAAArghhhhhhh BLEEPING BLEEP”

All in all, a once in a lifetime experience and i would highly recommend both activities to anyway thrill-seeking, fun-loving or mad as a hatter human being!


WHITE WATER RAFTING http://www.savagewilderness.org

BUNGEE JUMPING Email : reblin@mitsuminet.com
Telephone : +254 712 3094 / +254 733 613 132 / +254 734 819 361


With beautiful landscape and incredible views, the Borana conservancy is a shining example of how important conservation is for the Kenyan economy and community at large


Overlooking the Samangua valley, the Lewa plains, including the Ngare Ndare Forest and Mount Kenya, this location provides the ultimate off road adventure.

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Attractions are in plenty with amazing sights on your game drive.


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Reticulated-Giraffe Rhino-2 Buffalo elephant family Leopard wilddog

Nature and sports lovers will enjoy a ride on mountain bikes through the conservancy with frequent sightings of Giraffe, Gazelles and Zebra. However my camera man was laughing hysterically at how bad i am at riding a bicycle and I’m pretty sure i heard a Zebra ‘hee haw’ at me as I wobbled past! Hmph…i still had to worry about being cool despite being in the bush 😦

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Or experience the ultimate safari on horse back ,where you can get pretty close to the wildlife around. I never got to ask if it’d work with a Pride of Lions though! Erm…probably NOT!

From fly fishing, to buggies and quad bike safaris as well as paragliding for the more daring, a stay at Borana Lodge is never dull!

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A visit to the Ngare Ndare forest will be memorable though i admit i was grumbling and sweating all the way up and down the trek. But I quickly changed my tune once i got to the main attractions *insert gasp here* It started off with a trek to the natural rock pool, a serene safe haven, where you can actually jump off the rock into the deep waters below very safely and enjoy a forest pool swim. Another steep trek down will get you to the stunning waterfall, which the British army use as part of their training .

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Ngare ndare forest promises a very unique forest canopy walk, unlike most bush or forest walks, this takes place on a 400 meter long stretch whilst your route is suspended above the ground. There have been many times nature enthusiasts have been walking above with elephants roaming around below. Erm…just hope the Elephant don’t stay put for hours below you, otherwise that would be awkward!

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Borana conservancy in Laikipia, a stunning combination of scenery adventure and Kenya’s call of the wild

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WEBSITE http://www.borana.co.ke

TEL +254 20 2115453
EMAIL bookings@borana.co.ke


Looking for a fun weekend getaway in Kenya? Now I don’t know about you but the elements I look for in a weekend holiday are good company, a unique location and a balance between fun and relaxation. And my friends and I found just the place at Trout Tree Nanyuki


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It’s is located less than 100m off the main Kiganjo-Nanyuki Road and 3km from the Nanyuki Airstrip.  Built in and around a huge Sacred Fig Tree, the restaurant serves fresh trout from the trout ponds below, char-grilled to perfection.




Surrounded by lots of pretty flowers and greenery, the restaurant can seat up to 60 people and has some adorable resident Colobus Monkeys I managed to meet in person and cute Tree Hyrax.

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The unique Tree house style restaurant with its windy staircase sets an exciting atmosphere and is a huge hit with children as well as the young at heart

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They also have a play area for kids, or perhaps in the case of Soulo and I, oversized children! Excited about the prospect of choosing our own fish we headed down to the trout tree ponds to place our order. Here u can watch them catch the fish fresh from the water, make your selection and have them cleaned and ready for grilling.

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Another unique feature at trout tree is being able to order your refreshments straight out of the pond. The crates of sodas and beers are attached to the pulley system and you can pass the time waiting for your meal, by pulling up your order of drinks!


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If its perfectly grilled trout you’re looking for then trout tree is the spot to visit whether as a family or group of friends. Their menu also includes prime Laikipia beef and vegetarian options, while at weekends a kids’ menu is available and the pizza oven is fired up.

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Nestled in the lower end of the Trout Farm, Creaky Cottage provides memorable and unique accommodation.  Set in a tranquil corner, by the Buruget river, this self-contained cottage sleeps up to 6 people.

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Creaky Cottage is so named because it is built around a huge evergreen Podo tree that towers over and shelters the house.

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For those who would rather not cook, meals can be ordered from the restaurant.  As I was assigned kitchen duty for the night, we decided to freshen up and head to nearby Nanyuki town to get some groceries and do some exploring.

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There’s lots to do in Nanyuki with plenty of interesting and creative roadside curios.

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We also found the perfect place to buy some meat to cook for dinner but couldn’t resist the smell of nyamachoma and enjoyed a tasty and pocket friendly meal at the same time.

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You must visit the Lily pond arts centre which has a lovely restaurant. We however, had greedily enjoyed two meals already, so opted to just relax and enjoy the scenery.

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Back at creaky cottage, a cook can be organized to assist you with whatever preparations are necessary for your meals and their kitchen is fully functional.

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The next morning after a very well rested night, we set up breakfast in the garden of trout trees creaky cottage, with the sound of the river in the background as you chat… and with the pretty rays of sunshine beaming through the trees, this was a beautiful end to a fun and relaxing weekend in Nanyuki with great friends!

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I must say I’m obsessed with Watamu!!! What a little piece of paradise along Kenya’s coast

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And in the small town of Watamu, I found a quiet resort to enjoy an incredible holiday. Ora Resort. Located at the entrance of the Watamu Marine Park, this hotel offers stunning sandy white beaches and enchanting ocean views accessible from any part of the Hotel.

ora resort


Guests can enjoy a variety of activities and the first thing I did was change and head off to the sand bank in Watamu bay that emerges during low tide. Clear white sand, warm sunshine on your back and only the sounds of the sea…erm and yes, my cliche wanna be model poses! 🙂

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Ora Resort boasts of 200 rooms that are divided into single or double floor bungalows set in lush green gardens.  Each room has wide windows with views of the Ocean and come equipped with air conditions, safes, telephones, a Veranda and outside seating. Each room can accommodate up to a maximum of 3 adults or 2 adults + 2 children.



It’s a miracle I didn’t turn into a snotty nosed brat after this holiday, especially after the treatment I received from their spa!! You have the option of setting up a massage session out by the pool if you prefer.

A little TLC...

A little TLC…

Working up an almost frightening suntan, I took full advantage of their two swimming pools; one is quiet and secluded or if you need some exercise their second pool is always very lively with regular music and exercise routines


Dinner was a grand affair and on my way to the evening cocktails I couldn’t resist first stopping by their telescope to do a bit of star gazing.

I was in great company and chatted away and enjoyed delicious cocktails before we sat down to a special dinner set up in the garden. A special sea food dinner that comprised of crab, shrimp, octopus and red snapper as well as plenty of chicken and lamb chops for the meat lovers. I didn’t dare step on a weighing scale for months thereafter!!!

A popular activity in Watamu is snorkeling in the Watamu Marine Park, I was transported into a whole different world, with pretty coloured fish, interesting coral formations and the beautiful sights under the sea. A truly magical experience.

For the more daring, kite surfing has become quite trendy along the coast and there are instructors available to will provide the equipment and instructions needed

Back at the resort, the lunch call is always a celebration of song and dance and they encourage you to join in the fun!!

Lunch time!!

Lunch time!!

Customary lunch time celebrations

Customary lunch time celebrations



Soaking in paradise

Soaking in paradise