In May 2013 Uniglobe Northline Travel co-sponsored some categories of the BAKE (Bloggers Association of Kenya) awards with the Heritage Hotels of Kenya. Some of the best bloggers in various categories got to go to Voyager Ziwani. The best travel blogger Emily Nderitu got two nights for 2 at Voyager Ziwani Camp. Also other bloggers like; best environmental/agricultural blogger Peter Wachira, best food blogger Rajan Solanki, and the best photography blogger Mutua Matheka got to visit Ziwani. I went as the chaperon.
The diversity was because the Voyager Ziwani Camp has both leisure and agricultural activities. This would be a good way for bloggers to come and see how the two can be done together. For more information on the BAKE awards 2013 and pictures read celebrating the best bloggers in Kenya.
On the weekend of 7th to 9th June we went to Ziwani Voyager in Tsavo. Luckily everybody came on time and we were able to leave on time. We had breakfast at Capital Centre then had to face the Mombasa road jam which was a nightmare. Some of the bloggers knew each other well but some were just acquaintances. But after sharing food and a long journey (including jam) together by the time we reached Ziwani people had bonded.
Ziwani Voyager is beautiful. Looking at the pictures you can get a feel of it but you must go there to experience it. It is a tented camp on one side with a river on the other side. The river would sooth us to sleep at night. The river has hippos and crocodiles. We managed to see both during our three days.
During our stay we had al carte meals. Because we went in low season they don’t do buffet. This was abit of a disappointment for me because I love variety in the desert menu but I got over it. The food was very fresh, delicious and very beautifully displayed. On the last night we had some delicious goat meat. The animals are breed in the farm next to the camp.
The first night we went on a game drive. Ziwani is a sanctuary (privately owned) meaning that we could do a game drive at night. At National Parks (owned by KWS) and Reserves (owned by the community) you can’t do game drives past 6 pm. We had a guide from the camp called Chameleon who told us about the animals.
On Saturday we went to the farm. At the farm they grow passion fruits, oranges, tangerines, and bananas. They also grow maize commercially for seed. The farm is called Gicheha Farm. We went round the farm. They have some a fantastic irrigation system. I have never seen anything like it. The farmer in me was very happy. We bonded with the farm manager. On Sunday as we left we each got a goodie bag of tangerines. Very delicious those fruits.
In the afternoon we went for a picnic and swim at Lake Chala. That was the highlight of my trip. The Lake Chala is on the boundary of Tanzania and Kenya. It is a beautiful, clean lake unpolluted. The others weren’t feeling as adventurous as me and Mutua Matheka so we were the only ones who swam. But whether you were watching or swimming the lake was a great experience. The view of the lake is beautiful. Its abit challenging to get down to the lake but it was worth it. It was an interesting trip to say the least.
Before I forget to mention it I loved the picnic lunches or packed lunch that Ziwani provides. It really is a complete meal. Sometimes you ask for packed lunch from a hotel and you are left feeling hungry after lunch. This lunch was enough and we even had some left over to give some boys fishing at the lake.
After that we went to visit the Sniper Tree. This baobab tree which has been hollowed out is where a German female soldier, whose husband was killed in the British – German war, revenged the death of her husband. She lay in wait in ambush with a few soldiers and when the British were passing they killed some of them. Sadly when they were discovered she was killed. It is said the locals loved her and used to bring her supplies of food. We didn’t manage to go to Grogan Castle because we were running behind of time but we saw it from a distance. It looked very beautiful.
In the evening we had mbuzi and had drinks around the fire. Some of the guys went to discuss recipes with the chef and to see him cooking. We had a very late dinner but we really enjoyed it.
The next day we had to say goodbye to this beautiful place called Ziwani. But before we did we went on a nature walk. We saw crocodiles basking by the river. We got a lot of information on hippos. We saw different kinds of birds. We found out about a famine that killed almost all the animals a couple of years back. We got new natural toothbrushes.
It was with sadness that after breakfast we said Goodbye to Ziwani. We had such a fantastic time there. It was better then we expected and we had bonded. We had left Nairobi strangers but left as friends.
On the way back we went through the Tsavo West National Park. We visited Mzima Natural springs. This water is the real minerals water not the fake ones we are sometimes bottled for here in Nairobi. We got to see a natural aquarium. The water is so clear you can see the fish swimming. There is a viewing point where you can actually watch the fish swimming.
We had such a great time. Thank you to Heritage Hotels and Uniglobe Northline Travel (my employer) for sponsoring this trip. Hopefully this is one of many to come. I thank all my fellow travelers and bloggers. We had a fantastic time. Let’s do that again.