Sometimes back, my colleagues & I took what I would could call an air trip – like a road trip only that this time it was above the ground. It was an exciting day, coz I covered quite a big chunk of Kenya on this day. More so the larger Northern part of Kenya.
The journey started at Nanyuki, where we took off in the De Haviland in the morning. We flew to Wajir high level. It’s always exciting to feel the turbulence especially when going through a cloud. It is however a calmer as compared to the Y – 12. The Buffalo is just like riding in any other mode of transport in the sense that, you have the noisy regions, the less noisy ones, the less turbulent ones, & since this particular one did not have a pressurized cabin, temperature varied from a region to another.
I chose to stay at the farthest end on this day. I am not afraid of flying. I say this because in most of the movies I have seen, the exits always have a story to tell… at first I was seated near 3 of the exits. The main rear exit, the side door & the emergency exit was opposite. However, the temperatures were so low I couldn’t take it! The higher we went the cooler it becomes. It was so real! I moved seats to a window seat just next to the wing & I had a perfect view of the area below.
The greener regions of Laikipia are very beautiful; the flower farms of Timau, the barley plantations & the hills forming the base Mount Kenya are a great sight! The much there is to see in the ASAL region in the north, are beautiful land formations, that I couldn’t capture perfectly because I was using a poor camera, but it was a beautiful view up there. Also the communal lands and villages were another sight to behold. The clouds were like these beautiful bunches of cotton that you would love to swim in or sleep on, or something of the sort…
After like 45 minutes give or take… We arrived at Wajir Airport. Here we were hosted to cold drinks, goat meat & some chit chat before moving on. By the way, water in Wajir is salty like crazy & here its either you get used to it, or live on bottled water & sodas for the rest of your stay. As for soda, the more you drink, the more dehydrated you get & in the long run, the unhealthier you get. Wajir is a busy airport mostly used by regional carriers, humanitarian groups, non governmental organizations, private airplanes and the military/ government. It was a busy day and we happened to see a few of the planes coming in and leaving.
We refueled and again got airborne. This time we crisscrossed the north and ended up at a place called Ileret. It’s on the Northern Eastern shores of Lake Turkana. Before we landed we circled the lake near the border to Ethiopia and then landed on the airstrip at Ileret.
Ileret is among Kenya’s most remote regions. It is hot & humid like crazy and most of us removed some top clothes to t-shirts. I didn’t get much time to look around but the much I was good enough. For starters the fish here is amazingly cheap. It goes for Ksh 30/- at the time that was the price. Keep calm, for this fish is not the small idea of a fish you have in mind. The size is what retails at Nairobi around Ksh 700/- & over in an up-market meat store. Again this is not fish that is developed in a lab & full of growth accelerating hormones like the one’s we have nowadays in stagnant water ponds around the country. It’s sweet & natural, and it doesn’t smell as much as the fish I have come across. So far the Lake doesn’t have pollutants. That’s among the reasons why the fish is so good.
However, vegetables are the most expensive of commodities here. One tomato was retailing at Ksh 25/- at the time Green veggies are rare but they do come once in a while & at that time, there was a shortage of Maize in the country, the 1kg packet of maize meal was retailing at Ksh 150/-.
A colleague of mine had called in advance & we were treated to a buffet of sorts, with Goat meat, fish, cabbage (I don’t know where from) and Ugali. It was a tasty meal. The sweetest of goat meat is that from goats from the arid areas… That’s among the reasons why the likes of Ole-Polos, Kikopey & other regions surrounding dry areas are popular meat joints.
I haven’t mentioned the catch of Ileret. My catch that is… Bare chested women are real, and it’s not a big deal. It’s however an insecure location but there is security from the disciplined forces deployed in the area to maintain peace.
We then returned to our plane at the airstrip where we took off for Nanyuki again. This time we flew low along the shores of Lake Turkana & the much I can say about it is, I will go there again! We then flew to Nanyuki where we refueled again and then flew low level to Nairobi in 30 minutes give or take. It was fun.
Here are some of the photos I took. Their quality is not as good but they still okay. I am working towards getting a better camera, for better shots.
– Here is a business Idea. If one was to get a refrigerated truck, ferrying vegetables to lake Turkana and bringing down fish to Nairobi wouldn’t be such a bad idea… It’s the first idea that struck my mind.