What they say is true, there is really no place like home. I miss home dearly. Am actually planning a trip home very soon. I have been researching on places for my family and I to just go and have a well-deserved vacation. If you know me, cheap or free is obviously on the menu. I actually stumbled on a few less popular places, some I never even knew existed.
CHALBI DESERT: Consider a desert safari, where you get to see oryx, ostriches, hyenas, and the endangered Grevy zebras. This hot, dry but fun place is located on the border of Kenya and Ethiopia. It was named by the Gabbra pastoralist community (the main ethnic community in the desert), chalbi meaning salty and bare.During the rains, the dry land turns into a shallow lake.It has several oases which nourish lots of palm groves and makes the desert habitable for both the communities and their animals. I can not deny, this safari is not for the faint-hearted as the temperatures are on the extremes, very hot during the day with highs of 360°c and extremely cold at nights with lows of 180°c. Further north, you are welcomed by the Hurri hills which offer moderate temperatures much to the relief of the safari daredevil. The hills offer great views of the boiling desert.
OLORGESAIILE PRE-HISTORIC SITE: I never knew that just south of Nairobi along the road to Lake Magadi there was a prehistoric site that was home to the world’s largest number of stone tools that were used between 600000 and 900000 years ago(the Acheulean period).Bones of animals killed using these tools have also been found in this area. The latest discovery in the site is a human skull is believed to have been a homo-erectus. These bones have been preserved over the years by the alkaline ash from the nearby volcanoes.Camping and sightseeing are the major attraction to this area while seeing a wild animal or two can be an added advantage.
THE RUINS OF GEDI: I have had of this archaeological site but in comparison to other well-known tourist sites in Kenya, it somehow made to my cut-list of the county’s well-hidden attractions. Forty-five acres of natural beauty in the Arabuko- Sokoke forest are ones believed to be a fortress housing around 2500 people. The walled town has mosques, a palace, one-story stone houses and tombs. The oldest tombstone places the town somewhere in between the eleventh and twelfth century. Trade is believed to have been the main income earner of the town. Sightseeing is the main attraction in this prehistoric site.
SIAWA SWAMP NATIONAL PARK: I am just about to admit my ignorance to the whole world. Born and raised in Kenya yet I have never heard of this national park in Kitale, Rift Valley region.At almost 3km² Siawa swamp national park is the smallest national park in Kenya. It is home to the rare and endangered Sitatunga, an aquatic antelope. It also houses over 300 species of birds and indigenous trees.Being a small national park there is no need to drive hence walking, sightseeing, bird watching and camping the main attractions.
PATE ISLAND: This blog has taught me one thing, I do not know my country as well as I Thought I did. A two or three-hour ferry ride from Lamu will get you to the most beautiful yet rarely visited ruins in Pate island.Archeologists suggest that the port on this low lying land was in existence from around the ninth century. Trade was the main income earner for the community. In 1812 the battle of Shella was believed to cause the downfall of the town and end the city-state.
MARSABIT MOUNTAIN: This extinct volcanic mountain is defiant to all rules of the ecosystem. It is cold and green yet it is surrounded by a vast and hot desert.The misty natural phenomenon is home to the endangered Grevy zebras, warthogs, lions and many more wild animals.The crater lake of this mountain is called lake paradise, however, because of human destruction, the lake is slowly dying.
KITULUNI HILL: This is by far the best free site to go to. it is located just 12km east of Machakos town. Imagine switching off your car on a hill and getting out of the car with your keys.On this hill, you will be astonished to see your car moving uphill unaided. It is called the Anti-Gravity hill by the community in the area. Water will go up the hill for approximately one kilometre before it starts to move sideways. It is a strange yet amazing place to go if you want to break the rules of gravity.