Category Archives: Hiking

Weekend full of fun and laughter at Top Camp in Naivasha

After a long tiring day hiking at Mt. Longonot one of the mountains that is frequented by hikers from Nairobi and environs, my friends and I decided to spend our weekend at Top Camp in Naivasha town. The town which is known for its cool climate and is a haven for both local and international tourists was among the first places to be occupied by white settlers.

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The weather patterns in Nairobi were  tricky making us look out for options on whether we should camp, hire a cabin or return after the hike.  We settled on Top Camp part of Fisherman’s Camp that is situated on top of a hill where you can enjoy breathtaking views of the lake and its surroundings. The Camp which has affordable cabins that can accommodate several groups of people sleeping up to 14people in one cabin is about 20km along the South Lake Road from Naivasha town.

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Having negotiated and given affordable rate for 11 people at a budget of Kshs. 500 per person we had two cabins to ourselves. Each cabin goes for Kshs. 5000 depending with the size and number of people. We were required to come with our own toiletries and beddings since they only offered beds and mattresses. We had an option of either eating in Naivasha town, Fisherman’s Camp or self-catering, we opted for self-catering which was affordable and convenient.

 

On arrival we were welcomed by a friendly host who welcomed us and took us through the dos and don’ts of staying at the Camp. We were informed of other visitors who were around and was very important to respect their privacy.

 

The Cabins which have African touch both on the outside and inside made us feel at home away from home. The camp which is situated on a huge farm has grounds for various activities such as camping, cycling or any other outdoor activities.  The cabins are self-contained with double decker and single beds, well spread with Maasai shukas. The kitchenette has utensils for self- catering, a gas cooker and a small fridge for groceries and drinks.  The bathrooms that are both inside and outside the cabin have hot showers for the lovers of hot water.

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The Camp has a range of cottages and bandas (small chalets) to suit all budgets either at the lake edge on bottom camp, or overlooking spectacular lake views at Top Camp.

Karibu Cottage: Self-contained cottage overlooking Lake Naivasha. 1 double room and one single, Fully equipped kitchen and living room. Situated next to swimming pool.

Kwasi: Self-contained double room with fully equipped kitchen, overlooking Lake Naivasha.

Kitete: Self-contained room with one double and two singles, overlooking Lake Naivasha.

Kasuku Cottage: 2 bedrooms, sleeps 6, Bottom Camp. Kasuku has a fully equipped kitchen, a self-contained bathroom and a spacious veranda. Bedroom one contains a double and single bed and room 2 contains 3 single beds.

 

Initially we were tired after the Longonot hike but after freshening up the ladies took over the cooking chores and the men looked for firewood to light the bonfire that will take us through the night whereas others went to look for food for the evening and morning.  

 

Since there were no entertainment facilities available for example a bar or an entertainment spot and did not have plans to leave the camp, we carried our own music system and drinks especially alcohol since soft drinks were already catered for in the budget.  The rest of the evening was well covered through to the night, music, dances, jokes, laughter etc. Iam an early bird I was the first to throw in the towel at Midnight after dozing off a number of times by the fireplace J the rest went through till wee hours of the morning.

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Those of us who felt reenergized went onto part three of fun times cycling and swimming.  Those interested to cycle had to part with Kshs. 350 which covers half day and Kshs 500 for a full day. Since we didn’t not have plans to cycle the whole day we only paid for the half day and went ahead to swimming where we parted with Kshs 350 having negotiated from Kshs 500 a Crayfish Hotel, since Fisherman’s Camp doesn’t have a swimming pool and thank God the weather seemed to favor us.  This was just total madness, hiking, cycling and swimming in one weekend. But guess what these are things you do once in a while and we couldn’t let the opportunity go then wonder what we went to do in Naivasha.

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Each one of us spent  Kshs. 3200 which Catered for Transport, Accommodation, Park Entry fees, Guide fee, Food, activities (Swimming, Hiking, Cycling).  What a BUDGET FRIENDLY WEEKEND PLAN!!!!

Things to Note:-

  • Top Camp has self-catering option alternatively you can eat at Fisherman’s restaurant or Naivasha Town.
    • Gas cookers and utensils available
    • Carry your drinks (alcohol and soft), alternatively you can drink at Fisherman’s bar or Naivasha Town.
    • I will not recommend  using the road leading to the camp at night since it looks risky because of the rough and rocky path and bushes around
    • There is an option of lighting a bonfire
    • Guests are requested to leave the cabins by 11.00am to allow other visitors.
    • There is the camping option if not interested in sleeping in the cabins.
    • One is required to come with own beddings
    • Amenities include toilets and bathrooms that in each cabins and others outside for those camping.

Apart from social activities, companies prefer having recreational activities such as team building and gateways in Naivasha.  Along the shores of the lake you will notice Budget friendly hotels such Crayfish, Hexagon Farm Lodge, Triple Eden Naivasha Hotel among others on the opposite side you will notice green houses with agricultural activities taking place.  Some of the attractions around Naivasha include Hell’s Gate National Park which is known for hiking, bird watching, camping, rock climbing among others and Crater Lake. Other activities include Boat rides, Mountain biking, Swimming, and Horse Riding. The town is also known for its agricultural produce such as Vegetables, fruits among other vegetables.  

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Pre- Mt Kenya hike – Kijabe hike in pictures

 

This was the last hike before  going to Mt. Kenya over Easter holidays http://nakhulokhaimia.wordpress.com/2013/06/07/memorable-trip-during-2013-easter-holiday-mt-kenya-we-came-we-saw-we-conquered/

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A guide to hiking and Mountaineering

http://magazine.budgettraveller.co.ke/index.php/2013-06-12-13-46-56/171-important-items-when-hiking-or-mountaineering

Hills in Kambaland – Iveti Hills Hike.

Have you ever heard of Hills in Kambaland?  Apparently there are hills in this part of the country. Iveti Hills stretches from Machakos Town to Kathiani/Mitaboni area and has a  man made forest called Katunga Forest. As part of Mt. Kenya trip prep  Kwea Milele organized for an easy hike the weekend just before the General Elections in Kenya. This was the climax time for  the dirty politics and the mood was already tensed, majority of Kenyans were scared of traveling to any part of the country especially in  hostile areas for fear of violence. This did not prevent us from going to explore Kambaland.

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The journey from Nairobi to Machakos is  less than an hour depending with the means of transport  and activities along the highway,given that Mombasa road is a busy highway with trucks all over especially in Mlolongo area.

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The hike was not that tough as the terrain was easy and manageable except for the scotching sun and the dusty road. We passed by dry rivers that looked like they have never had water in years.  Those who followed the brief showed up with wide brimmed hats to protect themselves from the sun.

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After the hike we stopped at the famous T-Tot Hotel that is located in the Central Business District and known for their huge samosas and chapatis.

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About Machakos Town.

Machakos is a town in Kenya, 64 kilometres southeast of Nairobi. It is the capital of the Machakos County in Eastern Province of Kenya. Machakos Town is a major rural centre, and also a satellite town due to its proximity to Nairobi. Its population is rapidly growing and is 192,117 (as of 2009). People who live here are mostly the Akambas though it is a cosmopolitan town. Machakos is surrounded by hilly terrain, with a high number of family farms.( Wikipedia)

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