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Wangechi Gitahi

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Oh no,! I forgot  to pack…..Did I pack  my…..? .Do I have my passport?..Do I have my ID?…..Where is my yellow fever card? This and more is the common mental anguish I face on every trip….every. Honest, I am yet to have travelled and not forgotten an item I had planned to carry. I am a major procrastinator and thus instead of starting to pack early, I tend to leave it  to the last minute. Thus, minutes to my expected departure time, you will find me running around like a mad woman, throwing things I think I need on my bed and thereafter packing them as fast as I can. All the while, my mind has to consider what is acceptable in my respective modes of transport. For example, airlines will not allow you to carry lotion or perfume bigger than 100ml. in your hand luggage. In cases that I…

Hair and all matters hair are very crucial when planning a trip. I am an advocate of the fact that hair should not hinder or affect your travel experience. My hair is all natural, meaning  that it has never been chemically processed. That being the case, I have to consider hair care regiments that work for my African hair and myself. If it comes in contact with moisture whether gas, liquid or solid state, it will recoil and shrink. It also has the awesomeness of being malleable thus can be a free spirit afro in one minute, straight flowing in the next and even accept foreign materials like hair extensions for a different look. Since I tend to be an outdoor traveller and one who is very active in the “outdoor” space, I have to really consider “what look” to have. Below are some of the different looks I enjoy…

Travel Insurance needs to be on everyone’s “Must have travel Items”. Let me start off by defining what travel insurance is. According to Wikipedia, “It is insurance intended to cover medical expenses, trip cancellation, lost luggage, flight accident and other losses while travelling either internationally or domestically. I know, most people will debate that they are healthy, they are careful, they do not engage in high risk activities as reasons for not needing travel insurance. Granted, that might be the case but, life has a way of not consulting you when it decides to “overhaul your life.” Thus, always travel with travel insurance, better safe than sorry and as such, I never leave my borders without it.  Let me debunk some “grey areas” people may have about travel insurance. Medical Insurance is not Travel insurance Kindly note, having a medical cover does not cover you medically when you travel. Most…

Amboseli National Park is found in Oloitoktok, which is in Kajiado county in Kenya. The park is famous for being home to large herds of Elephants and like Maasai Mara National Reserve, it extends into Tanzania. The park is also famous as it is located at the foot of Mount Kilimanjaro, thus offering guests a look at the majestic mountain, without having to climb it. I was excited as we ventured into Amboseli National Park, as I really wanted to see herds and herds of elephants, which is what the park is famous for. Elephants are indeed interesting animals everything from having great memories, to being gigantic in size but equally as soft in nature. They tend to live in communities and everyone takes care of everyone.  The head of the home is interestingly, the oldest female in the group, thus making them a matriarchal society. They have been known…

What do you know of Africa? How many countries are in Africa? Do you speak African? Does the black colour on your skin wash off? You speak English in Africa? You have planes in Africa? Do you own a pet lion? How did you get here? I hear Africa is Scary! African ladies are prostitutes! African men are drug dealers! Keep away from other Africans! How come you speak such good English, were you brought up outside of Africa? The only African I have seen is the advertisements on TV, of a child with a bowl, a fly on their eye, mucus flowing from their nose and the message asking for hand outs! Have you ever had Ebola! I hear HIV is prevalent in Africa! I will catch AIDS if I visit Africa! Africa is so dirty! Africans are really good dancers.  I would really like to travel to Africa,…

Guilty!Guilty!Guilty! I am Guilty as charged. What is my charge you may wonder…..well…I AM FEMALE!  Apparently, it is a crime to be Female around the world. Below I will share instances where the “Female” title led to their conviction. Most  societies are Patriarchal and Wikipedia defines this as ‘ A social system in which Males hold primary power.” Thus historically and amazingly even now, most societies believe males are better than females. Cases of the girl child being killed at birth, to save her family of the “shame” of having a daughter are still rampant. Women are chased from their “matrimonial homes” for not bearing children because, the woman is always guilty!, the problem could never be the man. Woe unto you also, if you  do not give birth to as many children as “your man” dictates, regardless of whether your womb or body can support it, or if he…

Timkat is a religious festival celebrated by the Orthodox Christians  in Ethiopia, on 19th or 20th January in a leap year.  Timkat means Baptism and is a celebration of the baptism of Jesus in river Jordan by John the Baptist, the celebration of Epiphany. The festival occurs all over Ethiopia thus you can enjoy it in any town you may be in. I had the honour to attend the festival while in Addis Ababa and what an emotional  roller coaster it was. During the festival,  models of the Ark of the Covenant otherwise known as the Tabot, are removed from the Orthodox churches and carried to a designate water body by a select priest. A Tabot represents the Tablets given to Moses by God, that had the Ten Commandments inscribed on them. Every Orthodox church has one in safe keeping and it is not available for public viewing unless on…

Nkhata Bay is a port town that is found along the shores of Lake Malawi in Malawi. Lake Malawi  also known as Lake Nyasa is a fresh water lake that  is shared among Tanzania, Malawi and Mozambique. It is the ninth largest lake in the world and the third largest lake in Africa. I assure you, once you arrive in Nkhata Bay, your whole body goes into excess relaxation due to the serene, relaxed nature of the area. Here, I relaxed and had many “first ” experiences. 1.Enjoy the beauty that is Lake Malawi: a) Be star truck by its beauty: Lake Malawi is beautiful and I couldn’t get enough of it. I enjoyed engaging in basic activities like just looking at it. The waters are clean, crystal clear and one can easily see fish and rocks  without even having to snorkel. For the adventurous, please engage in water activities…

1.Malawi is officially known as Republic of Malawi. 2. It is a landlocked country and its capital city is called Lilongwe. 3. It is bordered by Mozambique to the East, West and South, Zambia to the Northwest and Tanzania to the Northeast. 4. It has a population of about 18 million people. 5. The official languages is English while the national language is Chichewa. 6. Lake Malawi is the ninth largest lake in the world. It is the second deepest and the third largest lake in Africa. 7. Lake Malawi is shared by Malawi, Mozambique and Tanzania and is also known as Lake Nyasi. 8. Its main income earner is agriculture. 9. The citizens of Malawi are called Malawians. 10. A Kenyan does not require a visa prior to travel to Malawi. For more on my experience in Malawi, check out Nkhota Bay: http://79.170.40.46/wangechigitahi.co.ke/adventure-galore-in-nkhota-bay/

Opuo is found in the Kunene region, to the North of Namibia. It is  home to the Himba and Herero tribes, communities that still hold on to their culture. My main driving force to visit Namibia was to actually see and interact with the Himba tribe/community found in Opuo. I love cultures and knowing that there was a community here that held on to their rich culture in modern Namibia, indeed appealed to me and I had to visit. What a joy to find out there was also the Herero community. a)Himba tribe: The Himba are indigenous to Namibia and are semi-nomadic in nature. They live in communities with the eldest male being the chief/elder. The ladies will normally colour their faces and hair red, the colour made from red ochre mixed with animal fat or oil which is called odjize. This is believed to  protect them from insect bites,…