The Curious Wanderer: Daniel Ominde

Daniel Ominde Visiting Hector Pietterson museum in Soweto, Johannesburg, South Africa.

Tuesday is Travel Tuesday. Our Curious Wanderer for today is Daniel Ominde. Daniel Ominde is a journalist, politics blogger and amateur travel writer.

Daniel Ominde Visiting Hector Pietterson museum in Soweto, Johannesburg, South Africa.
Daniel Ominde Visiting Hector Pietterson museum in Soweto, Johannesburg, South Africa.

1. What is your favourite destination?

My favorite destination would be Mwanza, Tanzania. I love beaches but Mombasa is just too hot and Kisumu does not really have a tourist friendly beach let alone the fact that Lake Victoria is choking with pollution on this end. Mwanza has perfect beaches for me. The accommodation rates there is fair, the lake is blue on their side and people have really invested in quality hospitality products.

2. What places are on your travel bucket list? Why?

I think I really want to travel to Cape Town. I hoped that I would get there the last time I was in South Africa but time did not allow me to. I think of all South African cities there is so much to see and do in Cape Town than there is in the “concrete jungle: of Jo’burg. I would also love to visit Berlin. Maybe this year. In Asia I really need to visit Bangkok, I just think the people have a very vibrant culture down there plus I hear you could buy a lot of cheap stuff there!

3. What factors do you consider when choosing a destination for your holidays or mini breaks?

i) The most important thing I consider is cost. This enables me to plan well in advance for holiday. Most of my travels though have been work related so the cost is usually catered for. If I am travelling with my family though it has to be somewhere that does not strain our budget.

ii) Distance – I like exploring my immediate environments and discovering places people take for granted. I would for instance travel to either Mwanza or Jinja repeatedly as opposed to travelling to the coast.

iii) Time – I have a full time job, that means my holidays must be during times that I can get a leave from the office or during my off days.

4. What are you travel essentials?

i) Laptop

ii) Camera

iii) Power adapters – I realized how important it is to check what kind of sockets the country you are travelling to uses when I traveled to South Africa and I could not use any of my gadgets for a day.

5. How do you save for your holidays?

I do not really save specifically for holidays but I save some substantial amount of money every month for my family and when we need to travel I sit and discuss with my wife how much we take out of the family kitty to facilitate the travel.

6. Horror story from your travels. What went wrong?

I haven’t really had an experience I would refer to as a horror. I guess I am either too lucky or I just haven’t traveled enough. The latter could be true.

I remember though last November when I traveled to South Africa that my DTB Debit Card refused to work after 3 days of my stay in the country. This happened despite the fact that I had informed my bank that I was travelling and that I had enough money in the account. I thank God I had some little money in cash that saved the day.

7. Where are you planning to go for your next mini trip or holiday?

I am always attending conferences and I am looking forward to being in Berlin in June and maybe West Africa or Southern Africa towards the end of the year.

For personal trips I will be visiting Lake Naivasha in April and Mwanza in December with my family.

8. If you had to choose a country from your travels where you could settle down apart from your home country which country would that be and why?

I am torn between Rwanda and South Africa, they are both beautiful countries with beautiful people and a rich history. I think it will be Rwanda, not too far from home and they are not too restrictive to Kenyans. I hate big cities so Kigali is kind of small enough for me.

9. Do you prefer to travel alone or in a group? Why?

Groups make you experience places better. Small groups though.

10. How many countries have you been to?

I am not that widely traveled, only 5 counties in Africa with most of those being in East Africa. I have also been to the United Arab Emirates.

11. What is the most interesting city to visit in your country?

I would say Kisumu because that is where I stay but I will be honest enough and say Mombasa. There is just so much to do, see and experience at the Kenyan Coast.

12. What is the most interesting souvenir that you have ever bought on one of your holidays?

I am sure clothes don’t count as souvenirs, I think I always collect books with history of the places I visit. Yes, I am that boring.

13. Would you rather visit another country or travel within your own country?

I really wish I could travel to every country in the world!

14. What are popular tourist destinations in your country? Have you been to any of them?

Kenya is most known for it’s wildlife so the National Parks are a must especially Nairobi National Park, you don’t have an excuse not to visit it because it’s in the heart of the capital.

Fort Jesus in Mombasa

Indian Ocean beaches

Kit Mikayi in Kisumu

Lake Victoria Islands

I think I have sampled all of this but definitely there is just so much more.

15. Which would you recommend if you could only recommend one?

Kit Mikayi in Kisumu because it is in my county…not really but because it’s shrouded with a lot of myths and mystery.

16. What advice would you give a newbie traveler traveling outside the country for the first time?

i) Know what kind of sockets they use in that country (thank me later).

ii) Don’t bank with DTB – on a serious note inform your bank you will be using your debit or credit card abroad.

iiI) Read as much about that country and places to visit, it will help you save time and that information is readily available online.

iii) Learn how to say hello in the local language.

If you would like to interact with Daniel find him on twitter at @iamominde.

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Managing editor and blogger at Potentash. Passionate about telling African stories. Find me at [email protected]