This is my little adventure to Kenya, Africa where I was on a photography tour to places like Nairobi, Lake Naivasha, and Safari at Masai (Maasai) Mara
Day 1 – August 15th/16th, 2019
My aunt and I left Kuala Lumpur International Airport (KLIA) and transit at Bangkok International Airport for our final destination of Nairobi, Kenya.
We landed at Kenya’s Nairobi international in approximately 5:30 am and its a fairly small airport with about 8-9 jet bridges. Immigration was fairly quick and if you hold a Malaysian passport, you do not need to apply for a visa since Malaysia is part of the British Commonwealth country. I did notice that folks from Taiwan had to apply for a visa but do not get their passport stamped due to the country not recognized by Kenya but instead get a stamp on a separate piece of document.
After the baggage claim, It was interesting even though you do not have anything to declare, you are still required to scan your bags as they are looking for contraband including drone. It looked like they will confiscate it and store it for you but you will be required to pay for a storage fee.
After you exit the terminal, there are 3 places to buy sim cards for your data plan so that you can access the internet and make phone calls via WhatsApp. The sim card purchase takes a while as it took about 30 min per person. The next question is why do we need to buy a sim card versus just pay for roaming. The answer is that for 6GB data plan, it cost me only USD $7 vs a daily roaming fee of $5 from t-mobile or Verizon will charge you arm and leg for it.
Note that I didn’t take any pictures of the airport. Apparently, it’s forbidden to take any pictures of the people and the airport.
We were then met by our transportation drivers who took us to Lake Naivasha which is northeast of Nairobi about 2.5 hrs away. It’s basically a minivan for passengers which can hold about 10 people.
We first past by the poorest part of the city of Nairobi which is the Shantytown.
The road trip was what we called a boneshaker and the road to hell as the traffic was dangerous due to only a single lane shared with the truck delivering goods to inner Kenya and a landlocked country of Uganda
The countryside is swarmed with corn and a lot of people hanging on the roadside selling roasted corn from makeshift fire pit. Sorry, they looked a little too dry for me to want to buy one.
The countryside has a lot of stopping areas similar to the picture below and it’s definitely a lot different than the US. I did notice that there are no motel or foodchain from the US along the journey. However, the US chain establishments are available in the city of Nairobi.
I found out a lot of people were waiting for buses which are pretty much minivans. There is no set time and you may wait for hours before catching a ride. it’s like from the Netflix tv show Sense8 where the bus is called Van Damme but in this case it’s a lot smaller.
Our first stop is a tourist trap to overlook the Great Rift Valley viewing area.
Upon arrival at the lodge gate, we were greeted by a large number of security guards carrying out a security sweep of our van. The gate opened and we entered a very large manicured compound.
We found out that we couldn’t check-in as we arrived too early at 1030am. So lunch was at 1 pm and we stroll the compound until lunch. I made a new friend along the way… my first African cat.. meow!!
Lunch was pretty good as we were served buffet-style food. It was interesting that there were a number of northern Indian food selections. Desserts were great as they had a ton of fruits.
We got our rooms around 3 pm and we went on a photographic boating excursion immediately afterward.
We saw a ton of local birds including kingfisher, eagle, stork, and quite a number of hippos.
More photographs available on the PhotoGraphy Link below
Guess what’s grazing below… it’s a badass animal.. we had to be surrounded by electric fence as it’s a mean animal when threatened.
Dinner is again buffet style and we sat inside as it got a little cold. We were served a lot of varieties of food including sushi which didn’t look too fresh and a lot of meat dishes. Dessert was pretty and tasty.