Fun Things To Do In Lamu

Lamu island is for a fact an extremely beautiful tropical island; Situated in Kenya’s Northern coast line. Lamu Old Town is entitled as a UNESCO world heritage site and listed in the World Heritage List as the oldest & best-preserved Swahili settlement in East Africa. Not only is the island alluring but also lively and full of activities that will leave you revitalized. My stay in Lamu was amazing; I was ineffably fascinated by the beauty and zest that the island possesses. Let me play tour guide a little with a few tips of fun things to do in Lamu according to my experience if you ever decide to visit during your December holiday or any other vacation.

  1. Tour around: Lamu has these narrow streets which make you feel like you’re a part of the island. Also, the island is an artists enclave filled with handmade artistic pieces (which you could buy as souvenirs), antique furniture and ornate doors that showcase its distinctive traditional Swahili architecture and art. To me, it was soul food to my eyes..
  2. Water sports – rent a speed boat for water sports activities. Donut ride, wakeboard, tubing, water skiing, surf boarding, snorkeling, you name it. Waterskiing was hard but I managed to at least stand after so many failed attempts. Nonetheless, learning is so much fun.
  3. Snacking – you cannot go to Lamu and not have a taste of the yummy Swahili delicacies made by the locals sold on the Lamu streets. My favorite was the delicious fried potatoes (ziazi) which us Costerians like a lot & makopa(labania). These are the real deal!
  4. Bonfire with friends: I took the right decision to sacrifice my night’s sleep for a lit bonfire night at the Diamond beach with friends. Enjoyed it with BBQ seafood of course and good music. Carry your swim suits for a night swim at the calm beach waters. Also, don’t forget your portable speakers and marshmallows to spice it up. Trust me, you don’t want to miss out on experiencing the exotic Lamu at night.
  5. Saildhow Adventure. Take a whole day voyage through the island and enjoy the view of the Lamu archipelago and stunning beach resorts vastly, as the lateen sail dhows ply the waters. Most importantly, you get to devour BBQ seafood at the boat and swim whenever you feel like it. Trust me, it’s a worthwhile adventure.I’d advice you to get a waterproof camera for some nice underwater shots with the beautiful fish swimming in and out of coral reefs.
  6. Take a walk at the beach. Enjoy a stroll at the beach – especially in Shela – for some beach therapy, all the way to the Lamu fort which is on the sea front of Shela so you won’t miss it. However, ensure that you have with you your sunglasses, hats and beach sandals in that beaming sun. Sunscreen though, is the most essential of all; Keep your skin hydrated and protected from the UV rays of the sun. Do not damage your skin at the expense of enjoyment – yep! Lesson learnt the hard way.
  7. Sunrise & sunset watching. It is so relaxing and rejuvenating to watch the sun rise early in the morning and the sunset in the evening. The day in lamu starts really early though, so if you’re up for it then by 6:00 a.m. you should be at the beach. Conversely, the sun sets around 6:00 pm so make sure you don’t miss it. Best believe, the best sunset view is from the Majlis resort.
  8. Ride a donkey: Lamu island is a donkey sanctuary as there are no motorized vehicles so they use Donkeys as a dominant means of transport. Try being adventurous by riding a donkey. You know what they say, “if you go to Rome do what the Romans do.” Although I have to break it down to you that the donkeys are a pain in the wrong places and extremely uncomfortable. I don’t know how they do it on the daily because it wasn’t the best of rides that’s for sure. However, do it.
  9. Lunch at Diamond Beach hotel. What better way to eat than by the beach; Lunching with a view. The red snapper and potato wedges meal I had was yummilicious. The food is delicious and it will leave you sleepy with that lovely breeze from the sea. There’s something about the breeze in Lamu that just gets you feeling as though the sea wants to lull you; Relaxation to the max.
  10. Dinner at Peponi Hotel – I loved the romantic ambience that the hotel radiates with beautiful lanterns, erotic lights and exquisite food that will leave you filled to the brim. I had the Thai fish curry and it was orgasmic. Thank me later!Peponi restaurant during the day
  11. Chill at the Majlis Resort. The majlis resort is one of the most beautiful luxurious hotels in the island complemented with tall coconut trees. If you haven’t already, I’d advice you to visit while in Lamu, even if it’s to just have a scoop of ice cream or a bottle of ice cold water. You’ll get the best views of the sunset from there too.
  12. A boat ride to Kipungani beach. The beach is an enchanting paradise with a sense of serenity. The brilliant sand is clean with crystal clear sea water that has absolutely not a single heap of sea weed washed to the shore, just sparkly gold sand. It is decorated by the eden-green palm trees that are lined in serried rows bowing down to the majestic sea complementing the beach. You can imagine how greatly I enjoyed swimming in aquamarine waters.
  13. Take bomb pics (metaphorically, just incase you quote me). Make sure you take some bomb shots pairing it with a bomb outfit in the streets, beaches, basically anywhere in the island is suitable for a good picture. Trust me, you don’t even have to try too hard to get a Perfect shot in Lamu. If anything, your pictures will leave you mind blown by the natural filter that comes with the flawless island.

That’s all Peaches.

Enjoy the exotic experience in Lamu; hashtag Lamu tamu (Sweet Lamu).LIVE| LOVE| LAUGH

Sunnies & hat @forevertrendy

Bag @primark

Sandals @primark

Tropical palazzo pants @signature_thebrand

Photo Credits: bybapeaches.com ~ iPhone 6S photography.

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The Magnificent London Eye

Hello Peaches! I hope you are all fab and keeping warm. Come to think of it, I should have started my blog sooner. So many travel and life experiences I’d love to share with you all, guess I’ll just do a throwback of my favorite places any Thursday I’ll be free to post; Hashtag throw back Thursday. Let’s throw it back to the magnificent London Eye shall we?


The London Eye is 443 feet located on the south bank of London. Situated right across the Thames from the palace of Westminster, Whitehall and Downing street. Trust me, it’s magical to look at and from.

Among the magnificent landmarks of London, it was finally off my bucket-list. It was 20th of July; Summer, a few days before leaving the United Kingdom that I decided to visit the famous London Eye. I was ecstatic although I had to tour alone. My friend had to link up with a relative in Canary Wharf but she had promised to take me on her way there since I was adamant about going. We took the train of course. First of all, we didn’t alight at the right station – the right station should have been Waterloo Underground Train station which is literally a 5 minutes-walk to the London Eye – I came to find out on my way out, because the London Eye train station definitely wasn’t it. Reason being, we had to walk for a good 30 minutes in that scorching sun just to get to the London eye. Luckily on our way, we found a bus stop and took a bus that finally got us to the London eye in like 5 minutes.

The first thing I saw at the entrance was a bronze sculpture of the former President of South Africa, the late Nelson Mandela, mounted on a small plinth paying tribute to the world renowned revolutionary for his efforts to demolish apartheid in South Africa. That was very impressive to see.

However, time was not on our side hence we didn’t do much of exploring, but went straight to the London eye although I remember this hotel which had such strikingly beautiful ceilings.

Coming out, I saw these cheerful kids playing in the dancing fountain, as always, kids win my attention. It was so lovely seeing them happy, which is the kind of happy I’d like to be 24/7. Oh, how being a kid is blissful! Take me back somebody!

​Afterwards, I walked to the booking office. Wax lady American Actress and Humanitarian, Angelina Jolie, in her stunning silk red-carpet dress, welcomed me and of course I couldn’t resist a picture with her. I mean, even as a wax figure she’s that attractive, I can’t imagine meeting her in body and flesh. Damn Jolie! She’s goals!


Okay, done obsessing now back to the paying part. I walked to queue in for the tickets and on reaching the counter, this fine gentleman showed me a brochure of all the attractions inside that I would have loved to experience. As much as I wanted to, I had to politely cut him short to pay for the London-eye ticket because they were about to close (although it is more advisable to book online). I quickly paid for my ticket and was ready to board. That queue was so long that I didn’t think I’d get in anytime soon! But I was patient enough to withstand it and got into the capsule which by the way, doesn’t really stop but just slows down. Rushedly, I entered and sat with lovely strangers.

I came to learn a few interesting facts about the London eye while in the capsule that day. Firstly, the capsules on the London eye are numbered 1 to 33 superstitiously for good luck as no. 13 is weirdly missing. Also, the London eye can carry 800 people each rotation: 25 people per capsule which is comparable to 11 London red double decker buses. Last but not least, the 32 capsules on the London eye are representative of the 32 London boroughs.

I was just enjoying the breathtaking view of London’s famous landmarks in the world’s tallest giant cantilevered observation wheel. We were soaring through the urban sky line at a leisurely pace of 26cm per second which is twice as fast as a tortoise sprinting. The self-stabilizing powered capsules were so comfortable to move around freely. The complete revolution took us 30 minutes that at some point, I couldn’t wait to get off because I was becoming restless. Notwithstanding my shift in mood, I mentally cheered myself up so as to swoon into the moment and gaze at the alluring city as if time had stopped for the wonderful city to unveil its face that smiled at us and inspire us with bewilderment and rhapsody. Everyone in the capsule was euphoric, in awe of the marvelous jaw dropping view, as though they couldn’t believe their naked eyes. As they were taking pics, I noticed that my phone battery was draining so I managed to take one picture and decided to just enjoy the amazing 360-view of the beauteous city of London – 40 KM in all directions stretching to Windsor castle. The dominating of the skyline view though was Big Ben, the eye-catching Gherkin Building, Canary Wharf, Tower Bridge and the Tower of London.


On alighting the capsule, I felt like I could tour all I wanted since I had achieved my goal for the day. But then I remembered that I had to do dinner with my friends so I didn’t have much time. Just as I was about to take selfies before my phone died, these youngsters decided to photo bomb. “How rude,” I thought. But then they looked like they were just young boys having fun so I thought not to be a kill-joy by not minding that selfie. They were chuckling and nudging each other then came close to me teasingly asking me, “Are you Rihanna’s sister?” LOL I burst out laughing and that peaches, was the highlight of my day! So they were literally following me like lost puppies waiting for another selfie to bomb into but I put my phone away. Somehow, I wasn’t with it because of my paranoia and they mysteriously dissapeard.


While touring, this stranger came up to me and asked me where I was from just to strike up a conversation I guess, and if I consented to being assisted with taking pictures with my phone. Weirdly, I didn’t refuse, I mean who wouldn’t want pics taken next to the London eye! And Big Ben!



The Comedian Mr. Bean theme was somehow trending that day. I couldn’t really fathom the reason behind it but maybe it was part of the entertainment I guess, because I passed one man who almost nailed it as Mr. Bean; if you squinted a little. He was part of the attraction and cashing in too mate.

On my way out, those boys again! One of them wore a Mr. Bean mask. It was so hilarious. They were a fun lot I wouldn’t disagree because they made passers-by laugh and that itself is a blessing.

Called it a day and rushed to the Waterloo Underground Train station that I had sighted which was just literally outside the main exit of the London eye. Basically, I felt like we played ourselves walking that long earlier  but relieved too since I was so exhausted but it was totally worth it.

In a nutshell, it was so surreal. Words are redundant to describe how just being on that gigantic wheel felt. The London Eye puts the whole city into perspective; an epiphany of the globe as a whole, eliciting admiration for God’s Mightiness. Even though my stay was not long enough to vastly tour the United Kingdom, the London Eye gave me gratification that I had a glance of it all, the city and the countryside beyond. ☺️

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THE ART & FASHION EVENT (WESTGATE SHOPPING MALL)

Hello Peaches, welcome back to my blog. Let’s talk fashion today, shall we? Specifically, the Art & Fashion event that I came across on my Twitter timeline which was scheduled on Saturday, 9/12/17.  I’m that kind of person who’d go out of the house searching for inspiration as opposed to just laying back waiting for life to happen to me, rather, I go out and make life happen (dear future hubby reading this post, please bear with me 🙃). Also, a bit of fresh air is good for the mind, body and soul because my head is not safe, ganged up with all these crazy voices. Come to think of it, I’ve never physically attended any fashion shows (none that I can remember) in Nairobi or anywhere before. It’s safe to say that the Art & Fashion event I attended on Saturday at the Westgate Mall in Nairobi was my very first: exhibition of artists, fashion designers, and photography.

First of all, the entrance was free (I mean, it’s in a mall) so I don’t think I’m in a position to rant, however, it was scheduled at 1500 hours but it commenced at around 1700 hours; African timers! (I just had to). On the bright side though, Westgate is a huge mall so there are more things you could do, like shop around while admiring all the glamorous festive Christmas decors that beautified the mall or watch a movie while waiting. That’s the strategy I guess.

Marvelous visual art pieces exhibitions at the entrance walkway of the mall got me mesmerized. Actually, I do enjoy casual art viewing, appreciating people’s creativity efforts and handicraft. I perceive visual Art to be deeper than just a picture; a display of someone’s infinite imagination and emotions on canvas which in my opinion, make artists alchemists. ‘A picture is a poem without words,’ – Horace. Although I’m not an Art expert, I enjoy connecting with artists through gazing at their artworks using my ‘third eye’; it’s a magical feeling!

Live art was also happening as one of the artists present showcased his art by drawing live face portraits on paper in 15 minutes at a cost of kshs. 500. This cute Chinese lady was seated facing him as he scrutinized her facial features copying them with his hand and pencil on plain paper. He really tried as the lady looked well pleased, but in my opinion, it wouldn’t pass for her clone. However, that was a job well done.

Moreover, there was entertainment of acrobatics and African traditional drummers. The drums thudded louder in the mall at the rhythm of the beats created by the drummers who were in sync while singing at the top of their lungs in some vernacular language only they could understand. Kids were given the chance to play too which was cute to watch.

Entrance to the event on the same first floor, we were welcomed by a fun photo booth accessorized with masks, emojis, funky glasses, and funny word props. The lovely couple behind the Nairobiphotoboothco. was still testing the lights and all so I got a little time to converse with them. They are a new funky photo booth business owners in Nairobi up for hire in events at a cost of kshs. 45,000 @ 2hours. Oh and you can post your pictures directly to your social media platforms with an extra Kshs. 10,000. Pretty cool huh? I captured a few picture shots for the fun of it and joined the guests for the event which had an outstanding set up. From the Djs to the perfectly positioned runway stage.

Kids were the first to bless the runway modeling cute designers’ outfits. They were so adorable and brave strutting down the runway as boys walked with a bounce while the little girls did a cat walk swaying their tiny waists on stage.

This little boy stole the show with his somersaults tricks. Yes, literally, he was rolling on stage in somersaults which amused everyone in the audience. Well done boy!

Next performance was the fun display of acrobatics followed by yoga that was showcased by 3 flexible ladies in their yoga outfits, lying on their yoga mats stretching their bodies in specific postures which had specific health and fitness benefits. One of my favorite body workouts that I paid closer attention to was of the tummy, as I prefer mine flat and toned (wishful thinking 😫).

The MCs of the event: media fashion maven, former Miss India Kenya & radio host Pinky Ghelani and Aisha Wanjiku, entertained their audience making us more engaged. We were all requested to join the enthusiastic traditional drummers who had so much energy in teaching us drumming basics. I joined the fun too of course. The traditional drummers got into their positions and so did we, with drums and sticks following beginner-steps-instructions which made it look so easy but tiring doing it faster. At some point though, it almost felt like a juju magic ritual like those in Nigerian movies, however, it was an exuberant euphoric moment for everyone drumming and watching too. Most importantly, I’m glad that I did something new that Saturday as it was such an exciting & exhilarating experience.

There was a professional graffiti artist too, who did the graffiti paint live with his multi-colorful spray paints on canvas, unlike the murals painted illicitly on the wall streets of Nairobi. His dedication and focus inspired us since he started at 1600 hours nonstop for four good hours. It was remarkable to see how well he painted a hot woman’s face graffiti perfectly with just spray paint on a huge canvas (those luscious lips are goals!).

Later on, the adult models came on stage. Mr. Dj entertained us with some nice jams as they strutted down the runway. The diversity of the models was quite attractive. Also, seeing melanin Kenyan models modeling for Indian designers in Indian outfits was pretty interesting to watch. All the models (both male and female) were stunning, facing the audience in opposite sides while posing with so much elegance as they showcased different designers’ outfits: sport wear from Sports Planet, party & dinner dresses from, Couture, make up from Madora & Lintons Beauty, and casual outfits among others. Some of the gorgeous pieces modeled were showcasing African’s diverse culture’s creativity and heritage with their customized Lesos and Ankaras from Maisha Kenya, and local brands such as Sandstorm and Bata.

For the record, the MCs, Pinky Ghelani and Aisha Wanjiku were good at entertaining their audience, cheering us by selecting randomly a few ladies and gents from the audience to model on stage. Some of us shied away while a bold few took the dare. It was so hilarious, in a good way of course.

For refreshments, we had drinks and delicious snacks sponsored by Art caffe.

What I gathered from the Art & Fashion event is that all these stalls of designer clothes, bags, accessories and shoes are a product of hard work through years of tears and sweat, in that, it takes balls to decide venturing into any business as it requires a lot of upfront thinking, capital, consistency, and persistence because trends die so fast due to our fast fashion era. Supposedly, it takes hard work from design and development, to production, supply and logistics (which need a lot of quality control by the way), to Marketing & PR, and sales & distribution which you’d need some e-commerce & IT skills with a background research of the best brand outreach methods like choosing the right social media platforms to use. Simply because we – the tech-savvy millennials being the most influential consumer group in the fashion industry – have officially gone digital fully adapting to the online world. Also, it’s a challenging commitment and a full time job to sustain a fashion business as you would need to constantly keep your creativity ball rolling due to the fast fashion growth of millenials in the competitive fashion industry. Despite the Kenyan fashion industry seeming a little too saturated, the barriers of entry happen to be quite low because of the elusive trend-savvy millenials hence exposed to threat of new entrants – Michael Porter’s five forces – since all new fashionistas’ designers strive to be unique and innovative. However, that’s my observation as there was a point in my life just recently when I wanted to venture into the fashion business myself that I did a lot of extensive research but wasn’t ready for that kind of commitment (yet!).

Therefore, all the artists and designers in the Art & Fashion event and all out there who don’t get enough credit deserve several claps as recognition for their hard work in creating unique art & clothes pieces and in attracting loyal clients. As a result, it will inspire fashion enthusiasts and aspirants.

Last but not least, a standing ovation goes to all the hosts, MCs, designers, photographers, drummers, yoga performers, gorgeous models, choreographers, Djs, artists and all the sponsors of the event for making it entertaining. There was so much entertainment, striking displays of art, and flamboyant fashion designs which inspired me to activate my creative switch.

Scarf: Gifted

Lippie: Nouba

Top & sleeveless coat: LcWaikiki

Pants: Zara

Heels: Backyardshoez

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NYAMA MAMA XPRESS

Hello Peaches, I hope you are all kicking it well this festive December. Let’s get started on the foodie shenanigans with Nyama Mama Xpress; an African diner with an urban eclectic twist of the local dishes. I’d recommend everyone who has curious taste buds like myself to give it a try.

So this is how I found myself at Nyama Mama Xpress. It was a sunny Tuesday afternoon when I had to attend for a casual meeting at Yaya Center Mall in Kilimani, Nairobi. I met the staunch Hon. Madam (identity withheld) for the meeting on 2nd floor near Standard Chartered Bank (you know I’m indirectly giving you directions, right?). We then decided to sit at the nearest restaurant that would catch our eye. Alas! Pizza hut was the first fast food restaurant we spotted just a few steps ahead. Luckily, it was packed so we moved to the empty table on the far end and that’s when I noticed the indoor Nyama Mama sign, of which I have always wanted to dine from. “Perfecto!” I sat readily for my brief meeting. First of all, I felt honored that she actually took her time out of her busy schedule to come meet me. Once the meeting was done, I thanked her for her precious time and stayed back with the intent of going ham on the menu. That’s when I discovered all these interesting modernized African hearty dishes.

The menus and take away bags are everything the Kenyan Government would be proud of following the plastic bags ban, as they are Eco-friendly solid hard paper. The ambiance is commendable. The prices of the meals on the menu are quite reasonable. Also, the menu is not boring at all, if anything it will strike up some more curiosity and you’d want to try everything in one sitting. Not that I was unaccustomed to the food, but the creativity is what tantalized me. For starters, I ordered fried plantains simply because I was craving for them. To me however, the spicy ugali fries stood out as they sounded scrumptious (Thanks to Hazel for suggesting it to me on my Instagram poll). I was so intrigued to order that just to tickle my exotic taste buds because it’s not the usual Ugali; a staple food in East Africa made of maize flour with boiling water stirred to stiffness. I’ve always had ugali served with cabbage, sukuma wiki, kachumbari (veggie salad) and fish or stew. This was a whole new meaning of Ugali.  Another one of the meals that got my attention other than the spicy Ugali fries was the Mama’s Matoke Burger. “Mhh.. that sounds odd,” I thought to myself. However, Matoke – cooked (peeled) green bananas – being one of my favorite African meals, I was ready to risk it all.

The drinks menu had some interesting smoothies and shakes too. I like minty drinks so I ordered mint & white chocolate shake which was different from my usual pineapple mint order which I’d consider it to be my signature drink.

The plantains came earlier served in a cute plate, needless to say, the portion is quite small. However, I was as hungry as a bear hence I snacked them like potato chips.

Then voila, the spicy Ugali fries plate was served accompanied with my mint white chocolate shake. The serving of the Ugali fries was top notch and creatively cool in a hash tag pattern. The garlic sauce they served with was so delicious as I dipped it and sent it straight to my mouth. Ummm.. The taste was like nothing I’ve tasted before. I could taste the ugali and chilli yes, but the mix was just weird, good weird I guess. It’s not something I would eat frequently though. Anyway, I ate like a bird that day in disbelief of how filling those few chips of ugali were. It’s either my appetite was low that day or the ugali fries were extremely filling that I did not have room to neither experiment the matoke burger nor any other meal on the main meal menu.

The mint and white chocolate shake was so delicious and simply orgasmic. You will not want to finish it because of the perfectly blended mint mix. Just let it drink you, nice and slow. I was so pleased and satisfied with the shake that I could eerily be a junkie from it; I rebuke the temptations of the diabetes devil!

While I was lingering waiting for my food to digest well, I noticed a food Magazine published by Eat Out. I perused through only to be fascinated by all these food articles and new untapped restaurants in Nairobi that I’d definitely be interested in exploring. Since I was alone, it was more of an eat-and-run situation. So I requested for my bill and a portion of my untouched food to be wrapped as take away.

Their bill folder is artfully folded with colorful African print ankara material which gives it that proper African vibe.

To wrap it up, I’d add that Nyama Mama Xpress is one of those restaurants you eat-and-run, well, according to me. As in, the food is delicious but it’s not somewhere I’d be fond of other than maybe fulfill my curiosity of tasting the different meals in their menu. Oh, and for that shake! I’d definitely go back for those drinks. On the bright side though, the meal was my money’s worth as it was very filling.

Since I couldn’t have anything from the main meal, mind telling me if the matoke burger is a good idea? Rather, anything else on the menu? Please let me know by commenting on the comment section down below.

For now, that’s all Peaches.

Indulge!

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Lamu Cultural Festival 2017

Hello there Peaches. Allow me to share with you my experience of the 17th annual Lamu Cultural Festival which was scheduled on the dates 16th November – 19th November; Thursday – Sunday.

The 16th November this year marked the 17th year that Lamu cultural festival has been celebrated in Lamu since its inception in August2001 by the county Government of Lamu. The cultural festival showcases Swahili culture, promote tourism and withhold its socio-cultural identity as “The island of festivals.” The festival has a theme each year and this year’s theme was “Amani na maridhiano” which means “Peace and coexistence” following the current political instability in the country.

I have always desired to attend the Lamu cultural festival and for some weird reason I kept missing it. Maybe I didn’t want to as bad as I did this year simply because I needed to mellow out and break the monotony of the hustle and bustle of the city for the therapeutic ocean. Nonetheless, it was going to be my first time ever to step foot in the beautiful island hence the excitement. The flights flying to Lamu are skyward, fly540 & SAX. So I booked my flight with fly540 in advance and the White House guest house in Shela through booking.com at an amazingly good price – well, Kshs. 2,500 @ night. It took me 1&1/2 hours to arrive in lamu including a transit of 10 minutes in Malindi. Unfortunately, due to unavoidable circumstances, I missed out on the poetic and musical activities, football tournament, donkey & swimming races which happened on Thursday and Friday. Luckily though, I made it for the extraordinary Jahazi dhow race on Saturday which marks the dhow-building heritage of the sea-faring community of Lamu.

On my arrival, I was welcomed with beautiful smiles from all corners and ushered to the boat deck. I was astonished to see uber boats, speed boats and all sorts of boats anchored as a means of transport. The passenger boat suited my preference because the more the merrier.

The little boat trip from the Manda airport to lamu island took us approximately 15 minutes. You could tell it’s a festival day in Lamu by the festive decors on the streets, Swahili food bazaars, international and local tourists walking around, and the amount of people packed like sardines bumping into donkeys who were all over the place.

The people in Lamu are so kind and accommodating. Their Swahili is a little different due to their Bajuni culture. For instance; Viazi = ziazi = potatoes. There’s a funny popular bajun saying “Ambacha ukucha punda uyao” = tegemea ukuta punda yuaja = lean on the wall the donkey’s coming.

I took a speed boat to my guest house in Shela so that I could freshen up. The White Castle-like line up of hotels view at my destination was stunning to watch; almost like a mini Greece. Conveniently, my guest house was a 2-minute walk from the beach. I checked into the quirky decored White house and freshened up in my room so I could leave for the cultural Jahazi dhow race as I couldn’t wait.

Rushedly, I boarded the boat back to Lamu for the Jahazi dhow race. That’s when I met Farhana the famous Kenyan vlogger. She’s a total sweetheart; beautiful both in and out. She was accommodating enough to welcome me to their speed boat ready to follow the dhow race in the sea which commenced at exactly 2:30 p.m. They call them Kasa aka dhow. To be honest, I couldn’t fathom who was leading because it was a little confusing since there was no mark to signify any route but then i got the hang of it later on when people were cheering for the leading dhow. Needless to say, I would advise that they should consider introducing a commentator for the future dhow races so as to keep everyone in the loop and more entertained.

The sea was full of all kinds of boats and it was amazing to see both International and local tourists in their colorful boats which had different flags, also, engraved in unique names as though showcasing their art that matched the boats’ ‘personalities’. People started cheering for the winner and everyone in their boats was celebrating by speeding past others, splashing sea water while dancing and singing. It was a total magical sight of euphoria which is very contagious so to say. We all cheered on exuberantly enjoying the sea-carnival party which went on till sunset for sundowners, which made the glistening sea-water brighter while the sea-song of the waves rippling gently soothed me, diverting me from the hurly-burly and stresses of life.

Guess who was in the island for the festival too? Yes, you got it. Our very own Sultan; Hon. Hassan Joho, the Governor of Mombasa county in his flamboyant boat. Everyone was joyous to see him as they gathered around his boat for a selfie of which he did not hesitate by virtue of his humbleness. He helps to uplift so many youth’s lives and just radiates cool positive vibes for a governor, hence the reason as to why he’s a man of the people.

The prize-giving ceremony was on the same day held at an open ground in Lamu where a mass of people paraded anxiously waiting for the prize winners to be announced by the judges. The deputy Governor of Lamu amongst other government officials handed the prizes to the respected winners. The crowd was exuberant celebrating in harmony, waving flags in honor of the winners. The prizes were in golden cups – sizes depending on the winners positions, in that, the bigger the champion the bigger the cup – money and air tickets sponsored by SAX, skyward, KPA & KAA to mention a few.

The celebrations of victory were so real and loud. The supporters were wild and carefree, roaring with pride cheering their winners.

Far more singular was a private women exclusive event which commenced right after the closing prize-giving ceremony of the cultural festival event. Unfortunately, recording was banned so I couldn’t get to snap pictures out of respect to say the least. The Lamu women showcased the Swahili traditional dance culture which was the Pokomo dance; these women’s bodies were full on vibrate mode shaking every part of their joints. The dances were accompanied with poems, heena art drawings, drama scenes and Swahili bridal display of the Swahili bride in colorful make up and sparkly wedding gown. Women representatives and Gov. officials gave a closing speech of wisdom to mark the end of the event.

Later, Offside Trick – a Tanzanian musical artist group – was performing on stage accompanied by a lady wearing a piece of kanga as a skirt and a loosely fitted top, whining her pelvic girdle and belly dancing to the rhythm of the music sang by the two artists. She entertained the men of course who were drooling with lust and cheering to her dances. However, she got the wrath of the conservative women in the island as that was ironically culture shock to them and taboo for a lady. But then again, women whining and belly dancing is actually part of Swahili culture so I didn’t really get what the fuss was about really. Do not get me wrong though, culture and religion do not mix and that’s where the confusion is. The little voice in my head commented, “Dear critics, if you can’t handle the heat in the kitchen, you know what to do.

We were exhausted at that point so we had dinner and took a boat back to the White House in shela as I prodded wearily through the sand to my room.

In a nutshell, Lamu has shown the world the essence of oneness & unity and taking pride in one’s culture which ensures the longevity of the festival.

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The London Eye

via The Magnificent London Eye

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The SGR Kenya- 1st Class Experience

Hello there Peaches! I’d like to share my great experience on the Madaraka Express SGR (Standard Gauge Railway) Kenya, 1st class.

Again, it was my birthday weekend and Mombasa sounded just about right for a good birthday weekend getaway. I must say it still is a hustle to book for the tickets on Madaraka express even though there’s a new advanced platform that allows you to book utmost 7 days prior to your travel date via our mobile phones thanks to Safaricom services by dialing the USSD code *639#. This put me in proper chill mode knowing that it is a legit first-come-first-served service and no one would purchase the tickets before the 7-days mark due to the limit of days displayed on the booking platform, for there are many agents acting as middle-men for the SGR tickets. However, that was not the case as to my disbelief, a friend called me from the Syokimau Railway Station telling me that there were no tickets available for Friday the 20th of October which was Mashujaa day. What she actually meant was that the economy tickets were all fully booked and the only tickets available were first class. Actually, that was 10 days prior to the 20th so how does this booking thing actually work? Although I was disappointed, it was the only choice I had at that time to pay Kshs. 3,000 for first class because flight tickets were ridiculously extortionate since it will be a public holiday. Nonetheless, I am glad that they’ve recently introduced an afternoon express train as part of the resolution.  Fast forward to the 20th: my departure date. I ubered myself to the train station an hour early because I do not live far away from Syokimau Railway Station; approximately 15 minutes drive.

On arriving, I found  a long queue just long enough to get us fried alive in that hot solar. We were instructed by the Security Guard Officers to put all our belongings to the ground in one straight line and move 3 steps away to the left so the security dogs can sniff them for security purposes. It was so funny when I heard some girls behind me saying, ‘How come this dog is taking long to sniff my bag? Did my side-niggah trap me?’ And they all laughed including I, the eavesdropper. That was hilarious though – Millenials! Anyways, we were all good to go given the authority to proceed. At the first checkpoint, bags go through the baggage CT scanner of course as you show your National ID card and SGR ticket to the security officer.

These adorable kids in blue uniform led by their teachers in front of me caught my attention as I waited in the queue for my turn. It looked like a whole school because you could see little blue uniforms all over the place. They were going on a school adventure for sure. At least it consoled me that they were the reason for economy class tickets being full – the love I have for kids.

After the identification security check and collecting my bags, there was a lady officer who then proceeded to inspect me from head to toe.

Entrance to the building, I was welcomed by another two officers who directed me to the 2nd checkpoint through a CT baggage scanner again. After that was done, I took the stairs leading to the train where you join ANOTHER queue to insert the tickets into the ticket machine for a green pass. Once you go through it, there’s a lady to direct you to your train terminals.

Mine was first class so I was directed to the first class terminal 1 & 2, making sure I double-checked my ticket terminal number 2 right because I’m one clumsy being. I was ushered by a stunning hostess to my seat. I finally sat with a big sigh! Now I know why we have to be there an hour or two early.

The first class compartment was astoundingly almost full. My bags were safe in the bag storage above my seat. It’s a two-seater passenger coach with a charging socket provided of which was the first thing I spotted – essentials!

Interestingly, the two-seater is not only super comfortable, but also flexibly adjustable. You can turn to the other side and have a little chit chat with your friends if you’re a group of you, conversely, make new friends. I found that pretty cool actually that I even did a little spin just to try it out.​

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​For the record, I have to applaud the SGR for being so punctual. It geared for departure at exactly 9:00 a.m. I was late by one minute to snap it but they’re not playing. If you are an African timer my friend, please just stay home. Here to help. 😅

 

From where my compartment was, I walked through 3 compartments to the restaurant for a snack. Not bad at all.

Since I had my iphone charger, I was sorted with entertainment as I goofed around with Snapchat filters and watching people’s snaps and Instagram stories while jamming for the fun of it.

Unfortunately, I missed the elephants and Zebras snap shots but I was lucky enough to see them from my window when I saw people looking outside in amazement. The view was totally breathtaking!

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With my phone fully charged, stomach filled and adventurous ride, the SGR first class left me with no complaints whatsoever. However, I find the price a little too high paying an extra Kshs. 2,300 for a more comfortable seat and leg room since it’s not inclusive of wifi (which is unavailable) or food. Either way, it was worth the ride!

Five hours later, we arrived at the Mombasa Terminus in Miritini at 2:00 p.m.


I did a little mirror check which was calling me at the back (girl things) and was ready for Mombasa! That was a great comfortable ride! I have to rate it 10/10 for comfort.

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