Steph Kageni

Steph Kageni

Friday, 12 February 2016 09:03

A Coconut Trees Many Uses!

Did you know that a coconut tree has many uses; there is not one part of this tree that is discarded!

 - Firstly, it produces coconuts; the milk and flesh are edible and used to flavour many dishes throughout the world. Dried coconut meat, called copra, is made from the mature coconut.  The copra is pressed in a mill to make coconut oil and coconut meal, used in animal feeds. The edible oil is used in hair and skin care products, soap and sunscreen.

- The leaves themselves have many uses, they are woven to produce baskets, hats, mats and fish traps. Leaves are also prepared into a roof tile and used to thatch an entire house, an excellent and watertight creation.

 - The coconut husk has long fibres which are used to make rope, nets and doormats. Pieces of husk can be used as scrubbers to clean floors and cooking pots or for kindling for the fire.

What a cool experience to go to the supermarket in East Africa and find a Masai warrior, in full attire queued up beside you, usually buying a bag of sugar or some milk, this happens often, especially in towns where there is a big Masai population!

Most locals however, don’t use the big supermarkets, usually preferring to buy from their local ‘Duka’ or ‘Kibanda’ which is a tiny shop often found everywhere even the most remote villages. There are many of these little shops, constructed either from bricks, corrugated iron, wood or even grass thatch. Inside you will find someone selling everything that you may possibly need.

They sell fresh produce straight from the garden, whatever is in season: bananas, mangoes, oranges, tomatoes, coriander, onions, spinach and cabbage.

A good way to recognise one of these little shops is they often have a large poster advertising mobile phone credit of some type stuck on the outside. Inside is an Aladdin’s Cave of merchandise.

Friday, 12 February 2016 08:43

Go on you know you want to eat Bugs!

I can hear you already saying no way!   Go on, give them a try, you might be pleasantly suprised!!!

The first time I ever ate bugs was in Zimbabwe, quite a few years ago where Mopane Worms (caterpillars) were on the menu.

These worms or caterpillars having been collected by hand were degutted, boiled in salted water and sun-dried, then fried and served in a small bowl.  They were quite chewy and hard but too salty and gritty for my liking. I must say I did try them more than once to give them the benefit of the doubt, definitely not my cup of tea!

Now recently in Uganda I have discovered a delicacy that I can’t wait to tuck into again on my next safari and that is Termites!!! They are absolutely delicious and incredibly nutritious too.  I wasn't convinced at first either................

Thursday, 11 February 2016 13:33

Put the Kettle on for a Cuppa!

Tea in Africa is an occasion. It is a meal. It is a social event, a huge part of daily life consumed across the continent.  It is known locally as Chai.

It’s not prepared the western way by dunking a tea bag in a mug of boiling water and then pouring in some cold milk. It is cooked!

Tea leaves are boiled in a saucepan with some water, once it has bubbled for a while, about the same amount of milk is added as it continues to boil.  A little sugar is added and maybe some ginger, masala or cardamom.

Cook a little longer and then remove from the heat, strain through a sieve into a giant flask and quickly close to keep the temperature near boiling.

It is an unforgettable experience. Why? Because it is Magical! I will never forget the excitement of seeing our first zebras, impalas and giraffes, and we had not yet even reached the gates to the park, already we had taken so many photos. After entering into the National Park it wasn’t long before the unmistakable shape of an elephant appeared, and another, and another and before we knew it we were alongside a whole herd of these noble creatures. Our afternoon just got better and better, a pride of lions tucked beneath a kopje of rocks, their golden coats camouflaged so well amongst the tall yellow grasses, just the playful cubs visible pouncing on each other, carefully watched over by the lioness.

After a hot and dusty game drive, we were taken to one of the most heavenly spots to observe the sun going down. No safari is complete without ‘Sundowners’, a unique tradition performed at the end of the day. We watched as a giant orange ball disappeared over the dusty horizon, the colours of the earth dramatically changing as the evening quickly began to close in. To compliment this special moment we had drinks from the cool box, some wine and beers to toast the end of the amazing day, accompanied by some ‘bush bitings’ of nuts, tortilla crisps with guacamole, cheese and crackers and cocktail sausages, all served on the bonnet of our safari vehicle.

Thursday, 11 February 2016 13:17

Why Adventure Camping is Fun! Bugz n all!

A holiday to East Africa is a journey to another world, a world to be embraced with a sense of adventure and a willingness to enjoy the ride; pot holes, bumps, mud, dust and all. Once you have left your ‘creature comforts’ behind and spent a few nights in the wilderness, it will seem quite normal to sit around the camp fire in the evening, sleep under canvas, use a traditional ‘bucket’ shower and perhaps even wear the same ‘dusty’ safari trousers two or three days in a row! It is a really fun experience; especially if you are down to earth then you will really love this grass roots type of travel. Safaris in East Africa are always an adventure; remember to pack a sense of humour and a sense of wonder, you will need them both.

Camping safaris are 'hands on', putting up your own tent, helping with the cooking and cleaning up is all part of the experience. Camping is really one of the world’s greatest travel adventures. Pitching your tent in the bush gives you the feeling of really living in the wild. The campsites can be quite basic, adding to the authenticity.

The romance of an open campfire under a magnificent sky full of stars is undeniable and a night in the wild beholds a magical experience. During the night you have a Masai guard who sits around the camp fire whilst you are asleep, keeping the embers going to scare away any wildlife that may come too close.

Thursday, 11 February 2016 12:40

Kaya Kinondo Sacred Forest

Visit Kaya Kinondo Sacred Forest with Safari Joe.  Located near to Diani Beach along the Indian Ocean, south coast of Kenya.

A 'Kaya' is a pocket of sacred forest that owes its existence directly to the cultural beliefs and history of the nine Coastal Mijikenda ethnic groups or tribes.

Kaya Kinondo is the senior most Kaya (home) for the Digo people located in Kwale District, Coast Province. It is just a few metres from the pristine Indian Ocean shoreline and close to the world famous Diani Beach, an internationally recognised tourist destination.

Kaya Kinondo is well represented in biodiversity and still bears the marks of prolonged human settlement in the distant past within the forest, that adds credibility to the rich folklore associated with the site.

Kaya Kinondo was the first Mijikenda sacred forest to open up for controlled ecotourism. When you visit this site it is important to show respect for the forest and people, upon arrival you will be given a short brief on how to behave on the visit.

The stunning Shimba Hills National Reserve is an ideal day trip for those staying in Mombasa or the South Coast of Kenya, as it is less than an hour drive away.  The reserve contains one of the largest coastal forests in East Africa and is where a great diversity of Kenya’s plant species are found, many of which are endangered, explore this and more on a One Day Shimba Hills Safari.

Monday, 08 February 2016 08:32

The Importance of Groundnuts in Uganda

Peanuts, known locally as groundnuts are an important crop in Uganda. As well as providing a source of income they also play an important role socially.

Ugandans are being encouraged to grow this crop to empower them into becoming productive citizens, who are able to take care of themselves and their families.

Women will serve them to their guests as a welcome snack, as well as sharing news whilst sorting the legume.

The raw groundnut is also boiled or steamed in the shell and eaten whole, or, alternatively roasted and ground into a fine powder which is then used in many different recipes.  Groundnuts that have been cooked into a thick pink paste often accompany Matoke (cooked green bananas), rice and spinach or bamboo shoots.  Totally delicious!

Monday, 08 February 2016 08:13

Kitesurfing Kenya and Tanzania

Kitesurfing is becoming extremely popular as an adrenalin activity.  Kitesurfing in East Africa is huge, especially here in Kenya at Diani Beach.

This growing extreme sport is very popular along the coastline of Kenya and Tanzania. People are able to incorporate a kite-surfing course into their Kenya Safari, or visit purely to Kitesurf, a Kite Surfari!

Come as a complete novice and take a course to learn this adrenalin pumping sport, or, come as a proficient kite-surfer and enjoy the constant winds and protected beaches that East Africa has to offer.

It is a pure thrill as a huge gust of wind inflates your kite and you are propelled across the warm Indian Ocean skimming the waves on your surfboard. The spray splashes past as you reach crazy speeds and it takes all your energy, balance and skill to maneuver your kite to make a turn and head back to the shore.

From the shore even to watch this sport is adrenalin pumping; brightly coloured kites flying high in the clear blue sky is a sight to behold, watching the surfers doing stunts and taking off is a real spectator sport.

Page 2 of 3