Quad biking and sleeping under the stars in Northern Kenya

It was early evening.  We had just returned from one and a half hours of quad biking along the luggas (dry river beds), watching the wildlife and birds.  As we were now sitting under the stars having a three course dinner, with the nearly full moon and Mars to one side, I had to pinch myself to realise that this was actually reality and not just one of my many dreams, and the best was still to come!!  I have been bugging Kamal for a while that I wanted an experience of sleeping under the stars, but not in our usual camping style.  And so, finally, we were doing just that and it was not even my birthday (as I had always envisioned it to be).

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The perfect dinner setting?

To know how we ended up in this picture perfect setting, we need to start at the beginning.  When we went on our epic trip to Lake Turkana, we stayed at Koros Camp, Rustic Luxury at the same time as Amory.  He told us stories about his adventures of setting up mobile camps in the most remote location in Northern Kenya and then showed us pictures of the quad bikes.  At this point, I could picture Kamal’s mind already planning the trip and lo and behold, as we drove back to Nairobi he asked me if this was something I would like to do and my initial reaction was nope!! Being the more adventurous of the two he was surprised at this!! The thing is, it was not the mobile camping part (obviously as we love to camp), but the quad biking that terrified me.  Quite a few years ago I had a not so pleasant experience of quad biking in the desert, and it had obviously left a huge subconscious scar that I did not even realise was there until the work “Quad-biking’ is mentioned.
Nevertheless, since we love to try out new places and experiences, especially in Northern Kenya, I decided that it would all be fine (I could always just share the quad bike with Kamal, right?) and we went ahead with planning the trip.  With all our other travels, and having family visit from overseas, the trip ended up being the same week of Kamal’s birthday (thought secretly I do believe he planned it like that on purpose)!!
This was most definitely not our usual camping trip. It was more like luxury camping in the wild.  Since we had very limited time, we opted for an overnight adventure in the beautiful Sera Conservancy (one of the Northern Rangeland Trust conservancies) where there also have a rhino sanctuary and you can trek the rhinos.
Getting to camp (which as I said before is in quite a remote, off the beaten track location) was the initial challenge, but luckily Kamal’s directions are better than mine and we reached camp at lunch time.  After a quick drink, we were welcomed with a sumptuous three course lunch.  We were presented with an amazing array of salads and pizzas – it is mind blowing what the chef could make in the middle of nowhere! The views of the lugga were amazing and we could feel our mind, body and soul slowly calming down from the hectic ness of the city and falling into the rhythm of the wild.

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 The amazing lunch spread!!

After relaxing for a bit in the heat of the afternoon, Amory briefed us on the do’s and don’ts of quad biking and off we went for our sundowner.  I was still a bit hesitant, but Amory is a fabulous host and really put me at ease – it only took about five minutes on the bike for me to really start enjoying the experience.  The funny part was when he was telling me not to worry if I drove slowly, Kamal and I both started laughing, knowing that I would definitely be the faster one on the bike compared to him!!  This was Kamal’s first time on a quad bike and he was being very cautious.  For those of you who know him, he is a very relaxed driver and is known as the slowest driver amongst his friends… and unsurprisingly this was the case even on the quad bike.

Secretly terrified inside…

Driving along the luggas, it was amazing to see the baboons digging holes to drink water and there were plenty of signs that elephants had been in the area.

Amory found a hill where we stopped to enjoy a refreshing sundowner before heading back to camp.

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Loving the Uniform

As we drove back along the lugga, the colours of the sky slowly started to change to the beautiful pink and yellow.
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The chirping of the birds commenced and you could feel the animal activity starting and we saw a few ostriches and gerenuk along the way. This was an amazing adventure for us and I feel that all the words and pictures are not enough to convey the beauty – one must experience it for themselves.

 

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There was quite a lot of wildlife and birdlife around

We turned the corner, and were amazed to see our ‘room for the night’.  We were going to sleep under the stars.  Dinner was just as amazing as lunch, and super filling (I thought the starter was the main course).  After chilling at the campfire, we decided to call in an early night as we had another exciting day ahead.

The night was cool and windy, but this is when we get the best sleeps –  when we are away from Nairobi and away from the phone network.  I had been slightly concerned that it would get cold, but the camping beds were so cosy – and more comfortable than some hotel rooms that I have slept in.  I did not want to get up but the sunlight at 630 am pushed me out of bed for another morning quad biking experience.

We had fun exploring another area of the conservancy and it was just unreal, having the whole place to ourselves.

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 Some of the amazing views of the area

After the second quad biking session, a very appetising breakfast awaited us at camp and unsurprisingly we were very sad to leave.  We had only been there one night, but were already so refreshed and feeling energised.  One night is always too short and we recommend spending 3 nights to get the full experience of quad biking,  trekking the rhinos, bush walking on dry river beds learning more about the animals and plants and just enjoying the unpolluted fresh air.
If you are interested in enjoying this experience, get in touch with us on info@kampurtraveldiaries.com to plan your trip.  We are now organising personally guided tours, customised to what you want to experience, to Northern Kenya and for an experience such as this, we recommend that you invest 4 days from your busy schedule to experience this once in a lifetime experience – it is what your mind, body and soul need.

When you travel with us, part of the proceeds go to furthering education for children in Northern Kenya.

The human spirit needs places where nature has not been re- arranged by the hand of man.
-Unknown

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