Njoroge Nguru who is known as @njooro on twitter is our Curious Wanderer for this week’s Travel Tuesday. He says he is a footloose seeker of new experiences and adventures living in Mombasa. Njooro is a lover of wide open spaces, tents and offbeat destinations. He believe 100% in experiential travel.
1. What is your favourite destination? Why?
Without a doubt Loiyangalani on the shores of Lake Turkana. Getting there on road is a two day bone jarring experience that is in itself unforgettable. You spend hours on the road, first through scrubland, Beautiful South Horr then desert terrain with nothing but rocks.You drive up North Flanked by Lake Turkana on you left until you come across an oasis in the middle of it all. Doum palms, green grass, chicken stew, cold showers, swimming pool. It is absolutely fascinating, there’s a desert museum too not far from the Oasis.
2. What places are on your travel bucket list?
I wouldn’t delve into the entire Bucket List but right now but before the year ends I want to do these 3 trips.
North Kenya – Neglected yet it is the most beautiful side of Kenya. I want to go back before the year ends and camp in South Horr.
Lamu – Because the Lamu Festival is coming in November from 26th – 29th and there’s no place like Lamu.
Kasigau – I haven’t been there but a friend came back with fantastic photos and is organizing another trip back before year end. It will be the first Mountain I get to climb ( some say it’s just a big rock).
3. What factors do you consider when choosing a destination for your holidays or mini breaks?
I’m a little impulsive on mini breaks around Coast. Sometimes I just get up and go because I have nothing better to do. When it’s a little further like Tsavo then factors like costs, accommodation, things to do and people to accompany me are in considered.
4. What are you travel essentials?
My Oldies, Rhumba, Soul and Rock playlist. I believe you can walk halfway to Capetown with a good playlist.
5. How do you save for your holidays?
Long story, sometimes I have no idea how it happens. I have bartered services for a holiday and some clients pay partially by offering holidays.
6. Horror story from your travels.
I don’t think I have a proper horror story. Everything that happens is part of the adventure.
7. Where are you planning to go for your next mini trip or holiday?
Watamu during the long weekend of 17th -20th October, hopefully with a group of 15-20 friends and strangers who will play silly drinking games late into the night. If you’re without a plan please get in touch.
8. If you had to choose a country from your travels where you could settle down apart from your home country which country would that be and why?
I’ve only been to 2 other countries in East Africa and no way I’d consider them over Kenya. This might change though, once I taste Maldives or Mozambique.
9. Do you prefer to travel alone or in a group? Why?
I travel alone sometimes, however I know it is always more fun with groups. Groups are better for a long road trip/safari. Teetotalers run out of energy and sometimes get grumpy midway. Once on an early morning Safari in Samburu, someone started a drinking game and I haven’t had such a fun Safari before. The driver’s serious commentary on Zebra’s gestation period was replaced with “Look, lacosté” from one of us pointing at crocodiles. Lots of laughter.
10. How many countries have you been to?
11. What is the most interesting city to visit in your country?
Mombasa of course. Who wants to argue about this?
12. What is the most interesting souvenir that you have ever bought on one of your holidays?
A spear from Isiolo. A full sized spear that I could go to war/hunting with if it was necessary. I had to explain to a cop at a roadblock why I had that in my trunk at some point.
13. Would you rather visit another country or travel within your own country?
14. What are popular tourist destinations in your country? Have you been to any of them?
Maybe I’ve just scratched the surface with Tsavo, Amboseli, Samburu, Sibiloi, the Coast, and a few other places. I haven’t been to Tana River, Kakamega Forest, Aberdares and the Western Kenya circuit.
15. Which would you recommend if you could only recommend one?
Go to Turkana by road. Getting there and back is an experience you will treasure all your life. Not just in terms of the fantastic landscapes, wildlife and culture but you will also understand how skewed our development in Kenya is. You get to appreciate how much adversity some Kenyans face just to get through 24 hours.
16. What advice would you give a newbie traveler travelling outside the country for the first time?
Have an open mind when you travel and be ready to be thrown completely off your comfort zone. Everything that happens is part of the experience. Also, don’t start your any of your sentences with “in Kenya we……”
You can interact with Njoroge on twitter at @njooro.