Friday 16th May

Moyale – Marsabit

Last night, we had prepped the landy as best as possible for the day ahead on what was renowned as the worst road in Africa. We were almost disappointed when the road, although tricky at times, didn’t throw up the predicted problems despite Andy praying for rain so we could use the expensive winch on the front. There was plenty of wildlife to see including Dik Dik’s (small deer), baboons and Guinea Fowl which we used as target practice in the hope of some fresh meat for dinner.

There were some huge ruts on the road which we managed to avoid but showed us the potential turmoil this road could raise if the rains were wrongly timed. The other issue on this road is ‘shiftas’ or bandits. We found out a couple of days later that an overlander travelling the road the day before us had been requested to join a police convoy which are regularly enforced on this section of road. We were strangely not offered such a service, but had been assured the road was safe enough at the moment. The numerous gun wielding cattle herders reminded us of the constant problems of tribal cattle rustling in the area.

After a record breaking five hour drive, we climbed towards Marsabit passing numerous volcanic craters and cinder cones as the temperature cools. After a quick lunch stop and cash exchange, we seek out Henry the Swiss Campsite on the edge of town. Based in a working farm, Henry has a great campsite with pristine toilets and showers with his Kenyan wife looking after the onsite bakery.

A local guide Mohammed soon tracks us down and informs us that the Irishman from Sudan, Niall, was a day ahead of us and had headed over to Lake Turkana with his brother as a guide. It had been a desire to see this stunning lake in a remote part of the Rift Valley but we feared the rains would make the roads impassable. Mohammed assured us the road was fine so we took on his services and he threw in a trip to a stunning crater nearby for some more sunset beers.

Returning into town for diesel, we noticed a banging noise from the rear which turned out to be the water tank that had sheared from the wheel arch on the bumpy road and was resting on the rear wheel. We quickly drained it and headed to the nearest welder who reinforced the joint and checked out the leaking rear brake while he was there. However, it appeared to be oil from the diff that was leaking but with darkness surrounding us, we grabbed some veg and headed back to the campsite where Andy & Noleen had arrived. We had a great omelette dinner with eggs from the farm and beers from Henry.

8951 miles

Mohammed at crater
Crater edge
More camels
Moyale - Marsabit

Saturday 17th May

Marsabit – Loyangalini

We pick up Mohammed early and start the drive across the Karoli desert towards Lake Turkana. We quickly come across a Land Rover with the bonnet up. We felt a sense of divine intervention coming our way as we read the Missionary writing on the vehicle. With our vast mechanical knowledge, Andy quickly diagnosed the problem as being one we had encountered ourselves which was a loose wire on the fuel pump. Within seconds he was up and running again a very happy man. A few miles down the road though, he stopped again as his colleagues emerged from a nearby tribal village. It turns out they had been stuck since yesterday and spent the night out there on the way to get help. We gained several new friends with our quick fix.

Nick continued his training for the Paris – Dakar rally as we hurtled along the sometimes indistinguishable sandy tracks through tribal villages. The sand soon gave way to harsh volcanic rock and then Lake Turkana appeared as a vast jade green sea below us. We slowly picked our way along the desolate rocky road and finally made it to the village of Loyangalini which was surprisingly developed for such a remote place. The Palm Shade Campsite was awesome as we parked up on the grass under numerous palm trees to chill out before Niall joined us for some beers to catch up on his news since Sudan which seems so long ago now.

It turns out we are the first western tourist to have returned to this region since the troubles back in November 2007 during the Kenyan elections with numerous tour operators cancelling this section. We were treated so well by everyone in town who were keen to reignite the tourist trade. For dinner, a local hotel owner prepared a huge feast of delicious locally caught fish, chapatti, rice, cabbage plus the rest. With a food coma hitting in hard, a local guy offered a DVD to watch of a recent film ‘The Constant Gardener’ which was based on the lake and in the village. It was a thought provoking film based on a true story of the drug testing occurring in Africa and the murder of a British woman who was threatening to reveal the story.

It also brought home the prehistoric tribal nature of this region where regular raids on neighbouring tribes consist of stealing cattle, burning villages and killing or kidnapping children. It emerges that such issues were very current in the nearby town of North Horr where tensions were very high, although we are constantly assured that Westerners are perfectly safe as they are trying desperately to welcome back tourists to the area.

9120 miles

Desert road in morning...
...lava rock by afternoon.
Barren landscape
Lake Turkana

Sunday 18th May

Loyangalini – Maralal

We drive back down along the beautifully stark lakeside in convoy with Niall which is reassuring for both vehicles given the remoteness of the area. This is especially true as the leak from our back axle gets worse and we stop to give a quick inspection and top up. We plough on though through more friendly villages. At a lunch stop in Baragoi, a local hotelier treats us to another feast of goat meat and chapatti and rice. Again, he is keen for us to spread the word among travellers to visit the area.

As we continue along some of the most punishing roads we have encountered, the vehicles start to bite back after several days clocking up the miles on harsh terrain. A quick call on the radio from Niall informs us of impending problems so we head back to see his front wheel covered in oil…something we had been trying to avoid ourselves. A quick oil top up and inadequate inspection, we aim to limp on the remaining 20km to the nearest town and our planned stop at Maralal. Unfortunately, he makes it just 50 metres down the road before a quick wobble and the front wheel buckles under the vehicle in what looks like a catastrophic failure.

Morale for the Land Cruiser owner takes a hit but we quickly jack up the vehicle on the steep slope to find out that four of the retaining bolts on his CV joint had sheared after what must have been a failed bearing (apologies for any excessive mechanical chat). After dismantling the remains and thinking through the plan ahead, we decide to leave the two guides with the vehicle as we head into town with Niall as the sun sets. The fear of a similar failure in our back axle was high as we crawl into town.

Our first stop is the police station to arrange for some security for the vehicle which was suggested by the guides. The police are happy to oblige (at a price) as it turns out that the vehicle is lying on the border between two conflicting tribes and leaving two black guys who do not speak any of the local tribal languages, may get a bit tricky for them. We now understand why the guides insisted on being left a machete as we left them!!

With Niall heading back to his vehicle with the armed guards, we headed to the Yare Camel Club & Camp in town for some food and beers. With the rain kicking in hard outside, Niall returns from a 2 hour round trip having left the police with the guides who were looking a bit twitchy. In true colonial style, we tucked into the beers in the club house while chatting to a white Kenyan guy called Adrian who we had passed earlier on the road. He was undertaking a survey for the transmission lines to join a proposed 100 turbine wind farm up at Lake Turkana to increase the national grid by a staggering 30%. Our thoughts went out to the guys with the vehicle as we eventually made it to bed.

9331 miles

Local ladies
The killer road
'A quick top up ought to do'
Our stub axle
The initial problem
The final problem!!

Monday 19th May


We arise early to start the repair process but not before the campsite serve up our first cooked breakfast of the whole trip. The bacon, eggs and sausages were the stuff of dreams during Ethiopia and set us up well for the day. We were joined by Adrian and ‘his man’ as tea was served in fine china cups.

We head along to the local garage (Bhola’s Garage) that has been suggested frequently where we are welcomed into the forecourt. Niall sorts out his remaining bits of metal as we dismantle our rear hub axle to reveal we also have a sheared bolt that has been playing havoc within the hub assembly. They manage to cobble together the various bolts and seals required as the forecourt turns into an oil slick.

The next 5 hours are spent ‘managing’ the ever increasing workforce at the garage who all seem to flit from one job to the next with minimal communication, but all working on Africa time. Andy dons the boiler suit once again to enforce his hands on Aldi training methods, but even he despairs after watching the same part being reassembled for the fifth time.

To be fair they do a sterling job and by 2pm Niall and Andy are heading back to the vehicle while Nick waits at the campsite updating the diary to make space in the landy for the two mechanics and what we hope are the returning guides. As Andy & Niall arrive back at the stricken Land Cruiser, the guides are incredibly pleased to see them with big hugs all round although Jamel (Niall’s guide) had already started to make tracks into town at the fear of spending another night in the bush.

It turns out the police were not too keen on hanging around and took off at sunrise leaving the guides to chat to some locals who reliably informed them that if they were here for another evening, the vehicle would be burnt out and they shouldn’t hang around. Apparently the police were more worried than the guides!

With Niall’s vehicle mended, we head back into town and release the guides from their duties to happily grab a bus back to their quieter lives in Maralal as we head back to Yare Camel Club for a beer and dinner. To cap off a surreal day, we are joined by a family of American missionaries from Loyangalini who are on their way to Nairobi for supplies. They had passed us earlier in the day to check that we were OK and we noticed that their twin axle chivvies were ‘packing some heat’ down the sides of the doors. This ‘heat’ joined us for dinner and became a show and tell as we were given the full lowdown of the 16 year olds son’s shotgun ( a pump action 12 shot military issue ), the fathers sidearm and the piece de resistance, a sniper rifle .762 Special Forces issue, signed by a famous US general.

It emerges that they do not have a very successful conversion rate in town but the locals of Loyangalini have appreciated their support over the past 15 years as opposing tribes invade. The British Army and other special forces also appear to have made use of his ‘facilities’ in the remote region. The term ‘missionary’ took on a whole new meaning…but we were not about to question him!



Tuesday 20th May

Maralal – Lake Baringo

We headed into town for a quick diesel stop and ended up going for tea and Samosa at the ‘Hard Rock Café’ with the owner of the garage, Rafiq Sadik. After some interesting discussions on religion, we left behind the town of Maralal with its crazy cross section of cultures and headed south along the Rift Valley. We excitedly stopped as we came across our first herd of elephants in the bush at the side of the road.

Another 2 hours later and we had arrived at the lake and Roberts Camp and tarmac at last. We set up camp and chilled by the lake before heading to the village to enquire about boat trips. After negotiations with the community boat trip service, we visited the local bar where we took turns in attempting to beat the local pool champion. Each of us was close but his title was not about to be lost to a bunch of Celts.

Defeated, we headed back to camp for our first steak dinner in a long time combined with our first taste of garlic chapatti which was a taste sensation. This set us up nicely for the tentative walk back to the vehicles in the dark with a campsite full of crocs and hippos. The camp guard with us had spent a few hours up a tree the night before having surprised a hippo, so he was keeping his eyes peeled. This was the beginning of a sleepless night.

At about 11pm, we were woken with a start by the terrifying sound of gunfire. The seven rounds were released in the town about 1km away and we were aware that we were not in the most stable of regions. With our hearts racing and images of running gun battles through the camp, sleep was not high on our priorities. However, leaving the tent was not an option as we looked out to see a huge mother hippo and her calf only three metres from us. We chose not to interrupt her as she emptied herself over the neighbouring tree but watched on with fascination as she grazed around the Land Rover.

9449 miles

chomping tortoises

Wednesday 21st May

Lake Baringo, Kenya – Jinja, Uganda

It was a very bleary eyed rise to meet our boat for a sunrise tour of the lake. Happily, we were informed that the gunshots during the evening were locals shooting an aggressive hippo that had attacked a fisherman 10 days earlier. The locals were going to dine well this evening.

We cruised round the lake to check out the wildlife of crocs and birds with the sun rising over the lake. The guide picked up some fish from the locals out on their flimsy balsa wood boats to feed the local fish eagles. It was a spectacular sight as they swooped down out of nowhere to feed on their daily fish. The only downside being that these birds relied on this daily feed from tourists. Over the past few months, they had suffered somewhat and had to go to the neighbouring lake to feed on their natural diet of flamingos.

Next experience was a bull hippo charging at us through the water as we had got between him and his ladies. We swiftly moved…although we could have moved faster!!

Back on land, we grabbed another big breakfast (chapatti made up for lack of Irish potato cakes) before heading west towards Uganda. The engines were suffering with overheating under the equatorial sun as we climbed up and down some vast valleys. We passed through Eldoret which was the stage for some of the troubles earlier in the year. Scorch marks from burning tyres were still visible on the road and we spotted numerous buildings that had taken a beating.

We reached the Ugandan border as the heavens opened and drenched us as we made our way through the now routine border process. The rain kept the local touts at bay which was a relief and we were welcomed with smiling faces by the Ugandan immigration officials.

By the time we were finished, darkness had set in and we had hit Ugandan roads. It was a rollercoaster ride in the dark taking turns with Niall in front charging through the numerous cyclists and potholes on the road that was in the process of being upgraded.

We made the Nile River Explorers Campsite by 9pm. This sadly meant we had missed the kitchen so after a quick drive to the local Chinese for a carry out, we were back in the campsite devouring lemon chicken and crispy beef with beers while surrounded by our first encounter with an overland truck party.

9728 miles

Hippo revenge
Swooping Eagle
Early start
Local fisherman
Funky goats


Thursday 22nd May


With blurry heads, we jumped into the awaiting truck which took us from the campsite into the rafting centre for a good breakfast and briefing before we headed along to the start of the Nile for our day of rafting. We joined Niall and a great South African couple (Scott & Laura) in our raft along with a not so great American by the name of Mike. He was a gungho Texan working in the construction industry in Guinea and talked the talk. He provided great entertainment as we all ripped into him, without him even realising.

The rafting was great fun and regarded as some of the best in the world with plenty of grade 5 rapids throughout the 30km duration of the day. We flipped a couple of times before hitting the huge last rapid which we somehow managed to finish upright.

A substantial buffet was waiting for us back at camp along with some well deserved beers. It was a delight to hear more of Mike’s hunting stories, which received minimal interest from us but great hilarity. The evening progressed with numerous UK charity workers/volunteers from Kampala and locally who were involved in debatable activities including painting schools. Our general opinion was that their energy and cash could have been channelled in a more productive way, but they felt pretty good about their work.


Friday 23rd May

NRE Campsite, Jinja

We decided not to move the vehicle today and enjoy the river view from the campsite while tinkering with the vehicle and generally chilling. Andy’s boredom threshold barely lasted until 9am before he was off for a one on one kayaking session down the rapids.

Three hours later, he returned slightly worse for wear having struggled to fit his galoot legs into the tiny craft while being pummelled upside down through grade 3 rapids. Kayaking was not for Andy and he developed a new found respect for the local guys who made it look so easy.

A lazy afternoon was the calm before the storm of the last night at the campsite which included lively debate with black American human rights lawyers working with Amnesty as well as the crowd of school painters.

Saturday 24th May

Jinja – Sipi Falls

A leisurely start saw us wave goodbye to the Nile Explorers campsite, thinking it was good to be moving on for our livers and wallets. We joined Niall as well as Scott & Laura in a convoy towards Sipi Falls but this soon broke up as we diverted into Jinja to see the local market in its full glory.

We arrived at Sipi falls after a relatively short 3 hour drive and once again the heavens opened. We checked into the newly opened Twalight Camping having rejected the neighbouring Crow’s Nest campsite which had had better times. The site was run by Alex, a young German guy dressed like a Frenchman with his stripy jumper tucked into his high waisted trousers. The place had a great view over the overrated falls which lacked water…despite the rain.

After waiting for lunch for a couple of hours, we all decided against a walk to the falls as the rain continued and thought best to order dinner now. After a quick game of Frisbee and short kip, we were sat chatting to some medic students from Leeds Uni who were studying in Kampala for a couple of months.

Our dinner of cabbage, rice and chapatti eventually arrived after another 2 hour delay as the kitchen struggled to grasp the numbers involved for food. Alex was extremely apologetic after having stern words with the staff. As is common in Africa, he said every day was like a new day here for the staff…even though the routine is exactly the same.

9881 miles


Sunday 25th May

Sipi Falls, Uganda – Lake Naivasha, Kenya

Once again, it was an early start as the three vehicle left in convoy with Niall and us keen to reach Nairobi tonight. We got back through the border with few problems and tried to blag our way round the $40 road tax that Kenya wanted to charge, with temporary success. One of the first sights upon re-entering Kenya was a dead man lying in the bush at the side of the road. His cause of death was unknown but we didn’t hang around to find out as it appeared no one else was either.

We stopped in Eldoret with Niall for some lunch and a quick stop at the cheese factory in town to sample a large variety of their cheeses which got mixed reactions. After Eldoret, the roads degraded into some of the worst ‘main’ roads encountered so far. Heaving with the trucks doing trade with Uganda and beyond, the numerous diversions for road upgrading were slow going.

As we passed the 10,000 mile mark followed quickly by the equator, the idea of getting to Nairobi faded and we made a new plan to stop at Lake Naivasha which was a couple of hours out of the city. We stopped at what we thought was Fisherman’s Camp, but actually turned out to be the neighbouring Camp Carnelleys.

As we chat to the inebriated owner at the bar, it turns out that he used to manage the camp next door before a family dispute led to him setting up this new place. He was keen to encourage business having missed the most recent edition of Lonely Planet which seems to govern the success of so many businesses. With another power cut in town, we enjoyed a great dinner of locally caught marinated crayfish and rice with a small coal stove for warmth.

10,205 miles

Evidence of Kenyan troubles
Crossing the Equator
Refugee Camp
Zebra crossing


Monday 26th May

Lake Naivasha – Nairobi

We woke to appreciate the surroundings that we had arrived in during the dark. Looking up at the huge trees looming over us in this lush green campsite on the lake side was a treat, as were the best showers we have had the whole trip. Hot water, open air view, good pressure, clean and we had the whole place to ourselves.

The drive south to Nairobi was an easy 2 hours on good roads and we found the infamous Jungle Junction Campsite on the outskirts of town in the leafy suburb of Karen. This place is a mecca for overlanders and the there was about eight other vehicles and bikes either going up or down or across Africa. The place is run by a keen biker and he has opened up his old house and gardens for overlanders. He doesn’t advertise anywhere and you will not find the place in any Lonely Planet. The noticeboards were crammed full of information and advice with everyone keen to share their experiences.

We headed out to the well respected Schumacher’s Garage for them to check out our stub axle and leaking clutch primarily. We turned into the garage gates to be confronted by what we thought was an illusion. A clean garage with at least ten bays all full of Land Rovers being worked on by teams of guys in matching overalls. We met the man in charge, Rainald, who was a big guy with big hair.

Although they were busy in the garage today, he got the red team onto our vehicle pretty quick to give it a ‘shake down’. This involved four guys hanging off the vehicle rocking it like a ‘pregnant hippo’ as one guy lay underneath checking all the bushes and seals. The snagging list following this shake down was substantial. We were happy to get through our spares kit and they changed all the oils and clutch master cylinder as we booked the vehicle in for a full day tomorrow. Two guys also somehow managed to perfectly straighten the arms of the awning which had been bent in Sudan. We now had no excuse not to use it.

We were treated to one of the best coffees of the trip…but only after we gave approval for the work to be undertaken. We were also given a quick tour of his facilities and his showpiece vehicle which was one of the pimpest Land Rovers we have seen. An adapted 130 Defender with all the kit and a huge expedition trailer to go with it. It turns out that he can build a similar base vehicle for £25,000 with new engine and gearbox on a classic chassis. You could see Andy doing the calculations in his head as he was not used to having small penis envy!

We headed back to a very smart shopping centre to check e-mails and update website on an infuriatingly slow connection. Feeling drained, we headed back to camp for dinner and chats with loads of guys we had already met on the road (Niall, Scott, Laura, Andy, Noleen) and some others heading North.

10,318 miles

Tuesday 27th May


We got back to Schumacher’s first thing for another great coffee before leaving the vehicle in their capable hands and grabbing a cab back to the mall for e-mails and shopping. After lunch, Nick stayed there as Andy headed back to check progress and scope out more details on pimping his Land Rover.

It was a treat to see these well trained and well paid mechanics busily working on the vehicle which needed it after the past 10,000 miles of beating it had received. It was mostly bushes, mountings and wheel bearings that were replaced in addition to the work on the hub axle from earlier in Kenya. We also finally succumbed to putting stiffer springs in the rear suspension which finally levelled out our heavy payload and put our minds at rest. The finishing touch was a new horn that would blast any pedestrian, cyclist, donkey or even elephant out of our way with ease. This made us happy!

Back at camp we compared repairs and stories over dinner with Niall who had been at a garage all day too. Although he had undergone a much more stressful day, we suspect his invoice was considerably less.

The beast at Schumachers
Getting the shake down

Wednesday 28th May

Nairobi – Mombasa

We woke before sunrise to beat the morning rush hour across Nairobi as we headed south to the coast and Mombasa. The full fury of the horn was being unleashed on anything that dared to cross our path and the vehicle felt like a whole new beast with its stiffer suspension and clean exterior. The first 100km of roads leaving Nairobi were being upgraded which meant continual diversions onto temporary roads which had been pounded by heavy trucks which significantly cut into our average speed. Once clear of these, the roads were great and we cruised along the high plains (approx. 1,800m) until a brief chapatti and samosa lunch stop at one of the first highway stops we had seen in a long time.

We continued to chomp into through the miles as we started to descend towards the coast and Mombasa rush hour traffic. We quickly negotiated this with the new horn blazing and realised we were not missing much in Mombasa. We drove onto the Likoni ferry to cross the river south of town and drove a few miles towards the more attractive Diani Beach area.

We first drove into the Diani Beach Campsite but quickly realised we could probably get something better value for money with the campsite undergoing some restoration. This was reinforced when during the tour, we were faced with an apologetic naked local workman using the shower. With promises of returning in a few hours, we drove further on looking for any signs of kite surfing. With our usual panache for timing, we had arrived during the low season and most places were shut for a couple of weeks.

As a last resort, we pulled into the luxurious Pinewood Village Resort which had an attached watersports centre. Although the hotel was closed, the centre was still offering scuba diving and the guy behind the desk called the kite surfing dude who promised to arrive the next morning to give us some tips and, more importantly, some rescue cover. With the Land Rover looking so comfortable on the sandy car park of the hotel, we asked if we could just camp there for the night and after a brief discussion with the hotel manager, he was happy to oblige and so we had the whole 5* resort to ourselves.

We headed along to an ex-pat haunt, the Forty Thieves Beach Bar for some dinner. With only one T-bone steak left, Nick opted for the sirloin and was surprised when the waiter delivered it and told us to make a complaint to the manager as it was not big enough. Nick obliged to the waiters request and the manager brought another full steak with apologies for the portions. We played some pool before chatting to a couple of girls, one of whom Nick recognised as an employee of a competitor in his previous employment who were full of ‘travelling’ stories.

10,676 miles

Thursday 29th May

Diani Beach, Mombasa

With a decent wind blowing in the morning, we dusted down the kite surfing kit which was still coated with dust from Libya. The wind was blowing straight along the shoreline which was not great but after the long drive, we were keen to get going. With no sign of any rescue cover or advice appearing at any point today, we got set up and Andy headed out into the surf.

It was not long before the kite started deflating and we discovered a slightly faulty valve. With a quick botch job, the reigns were handed over to Nick who lasted an equally short time before the leash on the board broke. Before leaving Scotland, Andy had purchased one of the shortest boards possible in order that it would easily fit behind the back seat of the Land Rover. Unfortunately, the lack of buoyancy made life very difficult in the surf so - deciding that it was the equipment that was letting us down and definitely not our skill level - we hired a longer (and functioning) board from the centre. With little else to do, the dive instructors were finding great entertainment in watching our attempts on the water.

There was a slight improvement over the day, but we soon tired of the continual walk back up the beach and called it a day before our morale took a further beating. A local bar along the beach managed to beat all records to date by making us wait over 40 minutes for change from our lunch. Andy was contemplating taking the furniture in exchange but the guy eventually returned in a sweat having searched the whole village for anyone with cash.

Heading back to Forty Thieves to drown our sorrows with beer and meat, the heavens opened as we arrived to discover the place was closed for a private function. The nearest option was a local curry house which we soon discovered was a local hang out for the ladies who were all keen for some ‘mizungu’ (Swahili for ‘foreigner’) men. After a hasty dinner, we swiftly returned to our exclusive resort.



Friday 30th May

Mombasa – Nairobi

We were woken early by more rain so headed to Forty Thieves for a great slap up breakfast before hitting the road back through Mombasa and onto Nairobi. The drive was fairly monotonous as throughout the trip we have avoided ever having to drive back along roads already travelled. Having negotiated the roadworks again, we were confronted with Friday evening rush hour traffic in Nairobi which was at a standstill for 2 hours. We finally made it back to Jungle Junction after a quick dinner stop at the shopping mall round the corner and got an early night in preparation for the girlfriends arriving tomorrow.

10,967 miles

Saturday 31st May


With the excitement of the two lucky ladies arriving that evening, we were up early to spend three hours cleaning the vehicle in an attempt to rid it of dust, mud and a general smell of sweat and feet. Having nearly managed this, we rewarded ourselves with a breakfast at the local café with wireless internet before shopping for provisions and clean bedding to impress the chicks.

Having booked into the fairly plush Macushla House hotel for their first evening, we decided to head there early and use the facilities. Avoiding the bridal party as we arrived, we dumped our laundry at reception and chilled out in the relaxed surroundings of the small hotel in the suburban Karen area of Nairobi. We left for the airport via a fast food stop at the local mall – where you are attacked by a waitress from each outlet as you sit down – and opted for a great Indian curry.

Arriving at the airport in plenty of time, it was a strange experience for us both having never been the ones waiting on the other side of barrier at an airport arrival hall. Counting down the minutes was painful which was not helped by an espresso. We caught sight of the girls eventually, but with Eve’s bag still in Heathrow’s terminal 5, it was to be another 30 minutes before they happily emerged and were whisked back to the hotel for a drink in reception with the bride and groom from the wedding.

Sunday 1st June


After a great breakfast by the hotel pool, we visited the recommended David Sheldrick Wildlife Trust where we came face to face with orphaned baby elephants and rhinos which went down well with the ladies. This was followed by a drive around the Nairobi National Park which was a good introduction into Kenyan wildlife as well as the extortionate park fees they all charge.

We took turns sitting on the roof as we viewed giraffe, vervet monkeys, hartebeest and numerous other wildlife before taking a wee stroll at a picnic stop with an armed ranger to see some crocodiles. This was all quite a bizarre scene with so much wildlife under the flight path of the international airport and the city’s skyscrapers in the background.

Andy developed a previously unknown desire to see the Karen Blixen museum (author of Out of Africa) who lived in the neighbourhood which was subsequently named after her. Thankfully, we never made the museum but found a great pub for a couple of beers in the sunshine before heading back to Jungle Junction campsite for dinner.

Nick & Eve headed back to the airport in the vain hope that BA had got their act together, but returned 2 hours later empty handed but with the prospect that the bag could arrive in Arusha in Tanzania when we pass there next week. Expectations were not high!


David Sheldrick Centre
David Sheldrick Centre

Monday 2nd June

Nairobi – Kericho

After packing up at Jungle Junction, we headed to the local mall for breakfast and some clothes shopping for Eve at Mr. Price – which is Kenya’s version of New Look apparently. Successfully kitted up, we left Nairobi and headed north along the same road we had come from Uganda. Andy did a great job of negotiating the numerous potholes on the road as we turned towards Lake Victoria and the town of Kericho.

There was a dramatic change of scenery as we left the Rift Valley and entered the temperate climate and patchwork tea plantations of Kenya’s Western Highlands. After rejecting the first campsite at Kimugu River Lodge, we entered the retro world of the nearby Tea Hotel. Obviously not decorated since the colonial age, we felt it only right to order a cup of tea and some cake in the ballroom alongside a pharmaceutical delegation who were using the ‘conference’ facilities. It appeared the cake was also baked when they decorated the hotel as it was solid enough to use as a block to jack up the Land Rover.

We used our high altitude training for a quick game of Frisbee between rain showers before the girls cracked open the gin and treated us to a great dinner of sausage stew with white wine. We could tell it was going to be good having the female influence on the trip.

11,352 miles

Tea plantations
Happy workers


Click here to watch the video


















South Africa