The good, bad and ugly at Malindi beaches

When you arrive in a touristic town, your first thought is what you will see there. Is it museums, old buildings, or cool restaurants? Those thoughts crossed my mind but because beaches always win for me, you all know where I headed.

When in Mombasa, locals and even tourists will recommend that you visit Malindi. It didn’t take so long before I pursued this place, well…..due to hearsay. Will I find other tourists? Will I see what a good beach side offers like restaurants with seafood? I really don’t  know and to be honest, I wanted to take the thrill pill of discovering on my own and not entirely depending  on what I read and heard. All I needed was direction to get there using public transport. I wasn’t gonna go missing or anything  besides  whoever has a mouth can never really lose their way right?

I was already at the bus station. Am thinking the experience was okay in terms of me feeling safe and not attracting too much attention because of being different in terms of the language. Fitting in was pretty easy so long my mouth was closed. As an African female solo traveller, travelling in African countries, I really never like to ” blow my cover” because anyone could take advantage of you like that. So  minding your own business is somehow golden. But if I don’t open my mouth, how on earth am I gonna get to Malindi?

My mouth finally opened. Kenya, just like Tanzania unlike Zambia, where I am from, have swahili as the official language. Zambia’s official language is English, so of course I used English. It’s like with these words, ” Sir, how much is it to Malindi?” Everyone standing next to me gave me the , ” You-don’t-know-Swahili?!-look.” I just gave a really wide grin and said, ”Am not from here.”

Fast forward, I was quickly assisted to get on a bus (matatu) heading to Malindi.Phew!!

The road trip to Malindi

Touring Mombasa and wanna try this place out? Getting there is about 10 to 15 dollars and total trip time is like 2 hours 45 minutes. The ugly thing here is I should have spent a night in Malindi…really, instead of doing a day trip as I didn’t fully explore. So anyways, the road trip was a smooth ride but some places had lots of traffic. I heard that it was not gonna naturally  take that long if it wasn’t for the diversion we found ahead. There was constructions or repairs going on.

After those few hours, I got there. I then got on a motorcycle (bodaboda) to get me to the closest beach in Malindi.

The good

The part of the beach I requested to be dropped off at was where the sand glittered like gold. I have never seen this before. I really don’t even know the scientific explanation behind it because I ain’t that smart but the place glittered! I took a long walk alone trying to register the good impression in my mind about this. I could see some people who appeared like locals around but didn’t care. I was in my ‘wow’  zone until I heard someone call out.

The bad and the ugly

“Madam!” and because they were female, I felt comfortable to talk back thinking they just wanted some info on something. Now, here is the thing…. what I have noticed in East Africa is that as long as a beach is touristic, you will find boat men marketing their boats for cruises. It works cheaper when a group of tourists agree to use one boat. Been there, done that. But because little me decided to do this solo, the lady that interrupted me said she was a local tourist. I wasn’t judging or anything but I know a tourist when I see one.

This lady claimed to be looking for a boat to share cruise expenses with another tourist. I fell for it and said I only had 8 dollars for this cruise. It was actually 12 dollars to do this ride but if I had company, we were gonna divide costs. She ended up convincing me she only had 4 dollars to add on. I agreed and felt comfortable because after all she was female like me…..what more safety did I need, right?

She actually came with the boat man already and I did the cruise with her. Towards the end, it turned out she had no 4 dollars and that the 8 dollars I paid was close to the normal price for a ride. When it clicked that she was actually friends with the boatman and not a tourist, I kind of spoke my mind and told them it wasn’t about the money but it’s upsetting to be taken for a ride .They admitted they were a local couple from Malindi area masquerading as tourists because that’s the only way to get to tourists like me…..but they didn’t have to put up that show, I still wanted a ride.

The ugly is that I didn’t really like the color of the ocean on this part of the area. it looked muddy brown and this isn’t anyone’s problem but some turquoise waters would have made my day after being taken advantage of.

The other thing that I could do was to monochrome my memories of this spot.

Why your 2023 bucket list should have Koh Tao (Interview)

Do you ever have those things you wanna do or achieve yet not sure of the possibility of it? We always want to tell our own story and share our own experiences but there’s some joy as well in telling someone else’s story. I love travel! Even if it involves me narrating a travel story that isn’t mine.

2023 in comparison to the previous years may just bring some more freedom in terms of travel as opposed to the Covid 19 frustrating period of 2020 to 2021. Should this be the case, am hoping we consider adding this island to our bucket list.

I had an opportunity to interview a traveller who tried out Koh Tao and from his description and experiences, it would be a cool plan to bucket list it.

So, what about Koh Tao?

This is an island in Thailand with cool touristic spots where you could scuba dive, snorkel, hike, rock climb and it has some great night spots and dive shops too.This place is said to have stunning white sand and palm-fringed beaches, tropical coral reefs, with species including whales, sharks and all sorts of marine life! Hearsay right there, but this is a kind of place to bucket list!

Isn’t this place just dreamy?

Cool ideas of how to try out Koh Tao

Q So sir, how did you get to this awesome place?

A I used a ferry called Lomprayah and the cost is around 20 Euros.

Q What affordable accomodation would you recommend?

A I would recommend Ocean View Resort “Ocean View Resort, Ko Tao. https://oceanviewresort.thailandhotels.site/en/ which is right on the best beach (Sairee Beach). Double bedroom, private big bathroom,fan, safe, small refrigerator, porch with two chairs and hangers for your clothes.Price on Agoda is around 15 Euros and if you are lucky, you could negotiate a discount in person.

Q Any other cheaper accomodation you could recommend?

A For even cheaper accomodation, you can use White Jail Hostel having one bed In a clean six bedroom, with good wifi and quiet area at night and all this for only 7 Euros.

Q What food spots are there? A Well, for your food, do try Mama Tam near Sauree Beach because there you could have pad Thai, spring rolls,fried chicken, papaya salad and fresh fruit shakes at very affordable prices starting from 3 Euros per person.

Q What food spots are there? A Well, for your food, do try Mama Tam near Sauree Beach because there you could have pad Thai, spring rolls,fried chicken, papaya salad and fresh fruit shakes at very affordable prices starting from 3 Euros per person.

Q What trips and tours can you recommend?

A The best tour you can have is the 5 places boat trip around the Island. First stop is at the private Nuan Yuan island and the entry fee is about 7 Euros. Here you have the chance to see baby sharks, sun bathe or the popular picture at the View Point.The other 4 places are best for snorkeling where besides many colourful fishes, you have the chance to swim next to a sea turtle.Boat trip price is about 14 Euros including a meal on board, coffee, tea and water, snorkeling gear and insurance.

Q What other activities are there on the island?

A Other activities on the island are beach hopping, renting a motorbike, snorkeling, diving (many diving schools here) and the most popular is chilling on Sairee Beach, enjoying a coconut oil massage while listening to the waves and taking shots of the most stunning sunsets.

Overcoming fears of solo travel as a female

Being female comes with its own blessings and curses.We love our male folk but sometimes the feeling of surviving without them around paralyses many a female folk that some have decided to embrace the paralysis and not pursue their dreams.

Without really targeting any culture, it is a well known fact that in some cultures, what women are capable of doing freely, they can’t really do in others. In the African culture, a woman is seen as one who is a helper at home and don’t get me wrong, in many cultures, I should think that is the case. With that being said, the issue of traveling should not be much of a problem until they hear the word ‘solo’. I mean, where are you going on your own?

In my opinion, this question could be coming from the fact that even males do am sure get fearful when traveling on their own. But can this fear be overcome? Can it magically just disappear after sessions with a therapist? There is no one good answer but my observation travelling in Southern African counties as one who belongs in this region, I noticed there are some fears that grip that one female ( especially from Africa) from just stepping outside one’s comfortable place

After travelling to a few countries here in Southern Africa, it’s safe to say these are some of the reasons other females have not stepped out of their comfort zones.

1)How do I even fit in?

It’s no doubt that some people fuss over food, friendships and to some extent, why not?I am used to having my English breakfast, why should I have chapati, omelette, lemon tea and fruit for breakfast ( which by the way was the kind of breakfast I had in Kenya)

Part of travel involves experiencing culture that is different from yours.You could either go and entirely refuse to be a part of it or embrace it. How can you do that? Embrace change, accept differences, go to the park and mix with locals. There is of course the danger in some places of being bullied for being different. At one time in East Africa, I could clearly get that I was being mocked for not knowing the local language

The sure way out of this is really to adopt a care free attitude. Let them talk about how you speak differently, don’t allow yourself to be bothered by that because some locals embrace foreigners. Train your taste buds to accept change, chances are that though different, you may like some foods and ultimately, the other way to overcome the feelings of not fitting in is to stop being judgemental and stereotypical.

2)Will I be safe?

This feeling of not being safe affects many even in places we call home. The feeling is just worse in an unfamiliar place. Hundred percent safety is not a guarantee everywhere but some things that will keep you safe are things like avoiding walking late nights on your own, being intoxicated and try at all costs to keep your stuff safe (bank cards, passport, cash etc) and I have seen some keep their documents in a secure sash that goes in one’s underwear. Pretty cool.

3) Loneliness?

It’s funny how some travellers feel embarrassed or is it insecure of having a meal on their own.Which one is better, to ditch that solo trip because you can’t be on your own, or wait ages or forever for that group trip? I am okay with enjoying that meal on my own.It is embedded in some minds that when you travel alone, you are alone and lonely all the time but that is not true. Starting from your mode of transport which could be a plane, cruise, train or bus to the hotels, hostels and what not, you do meet or find people everywhere. Loneliness is sometimes a negative mindset you should shake off.

4) Family disapproval

Males travelling is usually not as much of a problem in families as opposed to females doing the same.Sometimes it is our family members that disapprove of the solo travel. One way that has worked for me is to update them of my whereabouts and everything you are upto. Taking good care of yourself everytime you travel and family having confidence in you and how well you take care of yourself, will reduce their complaints.

Safari vibes at Chaminuka Game Reserve (Part 2)

The last time I filled you in on this safari trip, I was still on the part where I have a dream to be licked by a baby giraffe in Kenya. I have seen this happen and would like for it to be my experience but anywho this safari got me exposed to lots of animals I mentioned earlier and even the giraffe which I have not been so lucky to spot on my tours.

After seeing the animals I mentioned earlier, I then saw a handful of zebras but tonnes of impala! These animals and it’s relatives,species or look alikes do out number many animals you will see here and in most game parks maybe because the others are more shy , I don’t know but it’s either that or they breed per second!Lol! And it is for this reason that I never have the ‘WOW!’ moment when I see them because I have seen too many of them.They are otherwise a beautiful creation!

If by any chance, Zambia is on your hit list, do drop by this place and enjoy lots of their services like boat cruising, lion feeding, cheetah and elephant interaction, game driving , cheese tasting, fishing, horse riding and lots more!

The other thing I enjoyed as part of the package was the buffet lunch! There was such a wide range of foods like barbequed chicken, variety of sausages, lots of cheese types, potatoes cooked in many ways.You will thank them later but you surely need this heavy lunch after close to two and a half hours game drive and an hour boat cruise.

After the game drive, we got to a place in the game reserve where there was a water body called Lake Kasenga.If you like, you could enjoy some fishing but since this was not part of the package, it will come later I guess. The same group that I went with on the game drive was with me on the cruise. The word ‘cruise’ makes you think of the fancy boats and all but we used an ordinary looking boat that kind of looks locally made but with an engine.It still did the trick. I wish I spotted hippos here but nope. Beauty of the views and some animals coming to refresh themselves made the trip so memorable.

PRICES?

Their price ranges for some activities I recall inquiring on were as follows:

-Elephant interaction -About $30 -Cheetah experience -About $30 -Horse riding – About $30 -Lion feeding -About $12 – Boating – About $10 I did find the prices in this range but do check out their website for more or latest info : https://www.chaminuka.com

LASTING IMPRESSIONS AND OPINIONS

1) REMOTE LOCATION: The place is in the outskirts of Lusaka, Zambia and offers outdoor activities for outdoor lovers and this is one thing I loved about this place.

2) TOURISTIC: It had a touristic touch and of course that is why I am writing about it. Many tourists flock to Zambia to go to the south for the Victoria falls but this place can be described as the hidden gem for those that just don’t want the usual, ordinary or the norm.

3) PRICEY ACCOMODATION:Because it was in the outskirts, accomodation was more on the pricey side and I did a day trip for that reason but if your piggy bank is full then why not spend a longer time? My thought was for the place to consider a backpackers as well.

4) HELPFUL STAFF: The staff, absolutely organized and helpful,very professional and knowledgeable, a reason to stay there longer.

5) WOULD I RETURN? Definitely.

Day trip to Nsobe campsite

Everytime one thinks of a campsite,it has to include spending a night there and though that is the main reason for a campsite, a day trip to a campsite can be so much fun too.

Depending on the campsite location,you could end up having lots to see in terms of nature and just  enjoying an outdoor experience.That thought crossed my mind.I didn’t want to camp out,I just wanted to be up close and personal with nature.

If only I could get closer…

I hired some transport,had some company and we bought what was necessary for a day trip in the outskirts.What sort of food can I recommend for such a trip?

1) Roasted chicken

2)Drinks and water period

We aren’t camping out so that should do.

We got there.We finally saw Nsobe campsite in Ndola city of Zambia.The campsite is perfect for fishing for those that love to do so.I definitely didn’t go for that.

The one hour road trip filled with up beat music, stories to tell and anticipating seeing giraffes!I knew I was gonna love this trip!

My quest to find giraffes may not have been a success as I heard that the camp site just had about six to seven of them and they were probably in hiding but I definitely spotted zebras, which was a good alternative.

I couldn’t move closer to them

Nsobe camp site or game reserve has in it some caged reptiles and my favorite was a python snake at the snake spot.

I just learned you could actually mingle with them because their bite is not venomous.

For that reason,I did have a show time with them.I did mingle with the tiny snakes too and the funny thing is how even in pictures, it would take an eagle’s eye to see that was a snake I was holding.

Believe you me…. that’s a snake not a shoe lace

If camping is your thing and you happen to be in Zambia, do give this place a try. As the day came to an end, I appreciated the beauty of sunsets in this place.

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