Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Africa Trip Part 2: Huts and Tents

I'm still going through all my trip pictures (I took well over 500 - unusual for me), but I'll go ahead and show you a few places we spent the night.

The scariest place we stayed in was a banda at Robert's Camp at Lake Baringo, Kenya where we were the ONLY guests. Bandas are simple huts with a bed inside but no bathroom. To use the bathroom, you have to brave a whole herd of grumpy hippos in the pitch black night. So you don't use the bathroom once the sun sets.

Here's the hut:
Here are the hungry hippos:


We also stayed in one of Diamond Villiage's huts on the beach in the World Heritage listed town of Lamu on the northern Kenyan coast (yep, pretty close to Somalia). Kenya's national motto is Hakuna Matata (which means "No problem" - something you know if you've watched Disney's The Lion King) and it's especially true in Lamu. They also like to say Pole Pole ("slowly, slowly") and people here are very relaxed and mellow - a welcome change from the bustle of Nairobi. This would have been paradise if it weren't for the swarms of mosquitos and sand flies who were not the least bit put off by repellent and abundant smoking coils.

Our hut (which seemed to me like something out of The Mosquito Coast - before it burned down of course):


Probably our favorite accomodation was our tent at the luxury tented camp Mara Siria in the Masai Mara National reserve. Very comfortable bed, a hot "bush" shower, a gorgeous view and nary a mosquito in sight.


And finally, here's our friends' place in Nairobi. It is on a compound with electric fences and around the clock guards. You'll notice too that there are bars on all the windows and doors. They don't call the place "Nairobbery" for nothing.

That's all for now. Lots of baby animals soon!

17 comments:

Bookalicious said...

Whoa, I can't say those bandas sound very inviting - kudos for making it home alive, hehe. Your friends' place looks quite lovely though - I would've though those bars are meant more for decoration than protection (lol @ Nairobbery!). :)

Book Butterfly (Kim) said...

Thanks LEnore! That was fascinating to read. Have a wonderful and safe trip!

Staci said...

Thanks for showing up bits and pieces of your trip...very very interesting!!!

Beth Kephart said...

This is fantastic, Lenore!

Charley said...

In the Diamond Village hut photo, what are those orbs hanging outside?

Alea said...

You do the coolest things Lenore. I can't wait for the baby animals!

Melody said...

Thanks for sharing! Can't wait to read more!

bermudaonion said...

Thanks for sharing all these photos! I'm not sure I could go all night without a bathroom run!

Linda said...

sounds like quite a trip. Looking forward to seeing the baby animals.

Insert Book Title said...

Those are really cool, Lenore! Thank you for sharing.

Liviania said...

The bars on the windows do look nicely decorative. I've seen worse.

And I thought Girl Scout latrines were bad. At least you didn't have to brave hippos to use them.

Lenore said...

Charley - I think they are merely decorative. I wish had been sonic mosquito killers though.

Jodie said...

Kind of jealous that you got to visiot the tented camps, everyone in Africa was raving about how great it is to sleep in the bush (although afer visiting the lodge where they fed the scary wild hyenas and then big men walked us back to our rooms with fire brands 'just in case' I wasn't so sure).

caite said...

hippos are very dangerous..having them between me and the facilities is no a pleasant thought...lol
bring on the baby animals!!

Beth F said...

How cool -- I love all the places you stayed and now I'm extra glad that you returned safely. I had no idea about Nairobbery. Yikes.

Marie said...

Wow, amazing. We take so much for granted in the US. Thanks for sharing all this with us!

Allie said...

Wow! That must have been quite an experience! And I've been feeling sorry for myself that I have to venture down to the creepy basement bathroom while we're working on the one on the main floor. At least there aren't any hippos down there! Although, your sleeping arrangements seem like they were much more of an adventure than an inconvenience! How exciting!