Kenya’s culture and nature

Most of our Kenyan team are proud members of the Agikuyu (kikuyu).You will find the Kikuyu very social bunch, who like a good laugh, with townships being alive with chatter, Kikuyu brand of music and the smell of Nyama choma (roasted meat). The women are strong its quite regular you’ll spot a Grandmother,carrying baby on back and fire wood or water on her head as she cheerfully goes about her daily chores. The word Agikuyu translated means a type of Sycamore tree, a tree which is believed to be where the tribe were nurtured by their gods Gikuyu and Mumbi. It is believed that the group being of Bantu origin moved to the Mt Kenya region from the Congo with their Gods and spirits making their home on Mt Kirinyaga (Kenya). I am lead to believe from speaking with elders, it is traditional to still face Mt Kenya when praying for rain, orientating hut doors and also concerning burials. Join our Kenyan team and immerse yourself in this fascinating culture and socialise with these good people during your Adventure. On our bush craft and traditions weeks you’ll hear great stories and put great techniques into practice.

Traditional  dress Kikuyu

Traditional dress Kikuyu

Places:

Mt Kenya’s wildlife

During our treks to ascend beautiful Mt Kenya we often see wild Elephants on the edge of the Bamboo zone or equatorial forest. These majestic creatures move slowly buy. Only once has a large bull (tusker) prevented us passing to the trek drop off point at Chagoria. He stood large and above us displaying with his ears wide , trunk high and moving by crossing his legs in front of us and holding his ground. Above the forest lies the Tundra or Afro mountain Savannah its bleak moon scape is home to the hyrax , raptures and birds. Cometo Kenya try our hidden Kenya adventures and undertake a five day expedition.

Mt Kenya

Mt Kenya

Sausages and a Sausage Dog

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An intrepid canoe journey and bushcraft day for 4 people and one sausage dog. We began with some tandem paddling skills practice and journeyed south on Loch Lomond past the historic village of Luss. As there was a strong south westerly wind racing up the loch today, we rafted our canoes together so that we could more easily make the crossing to the islands. As we made the journey, we talked about Ben Lomond (Scotland’s most southerly munro), Conic Hill and the highland boundary and the various ways to ward off midgies, including the midge-repelling qualities of the plant Bog Myrtle. 

We chose a beach on Inchconnachan and were pleased to see a plentiful supply of driftwood washed ashore. After finding a safe and clear space and collecting a range of tinder and kindling, the group showed great perseverance, getting some of the best parks I’ve ever seen from a flint and striker, until the fire was alight. We made ourselves long skewers and cooked sausages over the fire, roasting sweet potatoes in the embers. We talked about the various methods of filtering and purifying water and also found some sphagnum moss and chatted about its anti-bacterial qualities. We came across blaeberries growing behind the beach and also some Bog Myrtle.

Once we had made sure we were leaving the beach as we found it, we returned to Luss in our raft and I think only Pippa the sausage dog was really glad to be back again. 

 

Loch Lomond 4 Island Canoe Safari

With the weather being set fair Amanda, Steve and I set off for a four island trek today. Leaving from Luss we skerry hopped to Inchloanaig to view the ancient oak trees planted for Robert the Bruce. We then headed for the narrows and Inchcailloch and conducted a short tracking session in the hope of sighting one of the Loch Lomond wallabies. We the set off for Inchmoan to set foot on Honeymoon bay. The finest of all the Loch’s beaches. Finally we visited the 14th Century castle ruins on Galbraith island before setting a course north for Luss.

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After visiting ‘Little Peter’, one of Loch Lomond’s most endearing characters, we finished again at the Lodge on Loch Lomond, content with our achivement. Congratulations to Amanda and Steve on completing such a long safari.

 

10km paddle on Loch Lomond

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Fantastic day for a long exploratory paddle among the islands of Loch Lomond. With only 3 of us on the trip, and a predominantly (and unusual) flat-calm day on the loch, we were able to focus on paddling skills enough to manage an impressive 10km paddle around the central cluster of islands on Loch Lomond, stopping on 3 of them to admire the views and enjoy the relatively unspoilt locations. We even managed to find time to brew some hot chocolate, forage for blaeberries and try out some solo paddling skills! As we journeyed, we chatted about the origins of Luss village, the Highland fault line and Conic Hill, the Colquhoun family and the Munros of Scotland. We saw Oyster Catchers, ducklings and Blackback gulls but unfortunately no wallabies. We were tested by a little headwind at times, especially when solo paddling, but my two companions were natural paddlers and picked up the subtleties of open boating very quickly. We were enjoying ourselves so much that we stayed out on the water for 5 hours in total, covering 10km in distance. We had glassy-still water for most of our trip and did not see one midge all day! 

 

Three Islands Canoe Safari on Loch Lomond

It was the perfect day. Calm and sunny; ideal for open canoeing. It also meant that there were no restrictions on where we could go, so the group decided that a three islands trek was on.

The first visit was to Inchloanaig to view the ancient Yew trees planted under the orders of Robert the Bruce. The second was to Inchcailloch to visit the old lodge house owned by the Colquhoun family and to try and find one of the elusive Loch Lomond  wallabies!

Finally the group paddled over to Inchtavannach and enjoyed a wild food foraging before returning to Luss.

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It was an excellent safari paddle, taking in a wide variety of local heritage interest too.