Author: Yellow Duckie
When I blogged about being escorted in a convoy from the airport when in Nigeria, I was wrong. It is not a myth. Just that I didn't notice the security car which is following closely behind our bus (guess that's why I didn't notice it). This morning when I went to the airport, I took the trouble to give my neck a twist and saw, Lo and Behold, the security car tailing closely to ours.
My observation thus far. The "slump area" (not too sure if they are slumps area but they certainly looks like it from the unorganized and cramped space each houses has) is better than those in Nairobi,from the infrastructure point of view. Instead of zinc roofs and wooden walls, they are actually cement or brick walls and most has got a satellite dish attached to their roofs. Not too sure if they have the basic amenities like running tap water or electricity but judging from the existence of the satellite dish, they probably have electricity.

View from the roof top. Ikoyi Area
Similarities to Nairobi (through my brief stay's observation) are the Electricity supply and the Traffic!
Electricity supply is just like Nairobi's. Lights blinking on and off throughout the day with almost no occasion where one can have a smooth flow of electricity all day long. The traffic, is horrendous. Touching down Lagos at 9 pm, I could see from the plane on the congestion of some area...pretty terrifying I would say.

The line....
Author: Yellow Duckie

I thought Kenya was expensive until I made my way to Lagos. My friend has decided ahead to take me out for a sushi dinner on the Friday when I am here and told me that the dinner with cost between the range of 8000 to 10,000 Naira (Nigerian Currency). I almost fainted when I did the conversion to USD. The dinner could cost up to 75 USD.

For a normal meal, it usually cost about 2000 to 2500 Naira. A walk down the aisle of Goodies (Supermarket which the driver took me to) give me quite a good view on the cost of living here.

Shopping list:
200gm of Turkey ham 1,287 Naira (~ 9.70 USD)
100 gm of Cheddar cheese 85 Naira (~ 0.60 usd)
Four Burger Bread 400 Naira (~ 3 usd)
A can of Soda 250 Naira (~1.90 usd)
Imported Sardine 490 Naira (~3.70 USD)

The story I heard about being escorted in a convoy from the airport seems to be a myth now as this cease to be the case. The street is busy with cars and I simply can't imagine if any hijack can happen under such circumstances. I don't doubt that the crime rate is still high but I simply can't imagine. Like a colleague of mine said, Lagos is almost similar to Jakarta (minus the modern shopping malls that spring up like mushroom in Jakarta). Where I am now, is far from what the news channel broadcasted. No AK 47, no rowdy soldiers and no violent crowd.
Author: Yellow Duckie
After a 5 hours flight from Nairobi to Lagos, the last thing I want is being held up at the passport control at the airport upon arrival. I was relieved when I saw the line at the passport control was reasonably short but to my dismay, they ran out of the entry form. Thinking that they will eventually bring us some, I was wrong.

I was so surprised when one of the passanger asked for it and was blatantly told that they should have obtained it on the air plane. The officer then instruct those we does not have the entry form to go back to the air plane we came with and asked for it (you can imagine the look on our faces)

I was dumbstrucked. They refused to process those who does not have the card and carried on with those who has it, which not many managed to hold of the entry form. When I caught sight of one of the officer roaming freely, I was putting up my hand and hailing him frantically to asked for it. He then realised that it has ran out at the counter and drew out a few copies which caused a slight chaos amongst those who could reach it.

When the officer who handed out the last few copies to us went to the officer at the counter (the one who told us to get it from the airplane) to enquire about the shortage, the poor guy was scolded for not doing his job as it was his task.

In my heavy frequency of travelling, this is really the first i encounter such an amusing incident. I guess, that's Nigeria for you...
Author: Yellow Duckie
Exam cheats arrested as fake papers on sale Students turn to "Smart Drugs' for better grades Five Candidates held as knee steps war on exam cheats Six seized over killing of exam official
Author: Yellow Duckie
I recall the first time I stepped onto the Kenyan soil in July last year, the first tree that caught my attention was the beautiful Jacaranda trees. When in full bloom the entire tree is purple. Not a single green was found on the tree. It was like a purple torch that lights up the streets of Nairobi.
This year, perhaps it's due to the weather change, the bloom came only in late September early October (or at least this is when I noticed them).
Author: Yellow Duckie
Apart from being known as well dressed, the Kenyans are quite particular about the apparence of their shoes. Regardless of what job they are working as, they will definitely be well dressed in suits (which I sometimes think it's a little overdressed) and the sight of them either sitting on the bench by the road side having their shoes polished or them bending down wiping their shoes off the dirt. I find this quite amusing as most of them walk on dirt roads and yet taking the trouble to have them clean up and dirtied again within the next 5 seconds...
Author: Yellow Duckie
We left the bustling city of Nairobi early in the morning headed off straight to our first stop, Tsavo before hitting the well known coastal town of kenya, Mombasa. The line up highlights of this trip (according to my wonderful plan) is to see the Chyulu hills National Park, Shetani Lavaflow and the old town of Mombasa. However, it turns out that what was not in my highlight list was better :)

The guest house which I reserved through the KWS turns out to be incredibly cheap and unbelievably clean. I was informed that there is no electricity and was prepared to spend the night with oil lamps. The condition of the guest house was well kept and the beddings and furnitures are new and clean that despite the lack of electricity, we spent a comfortable night there. For only 5000 KSH , this "banda" comfortably fit 7 guests!
Mzima Springs was quite an interesting spot to visit in Tsavo West. The spring is known to supply water to Mombasa and it was indeed a strange sight to seem a hippo dipping in a crystal clear pool and crocodiles resting by the lake bank as they are usually found in muddy areas (My dad thinks that someone has placed these animals here as it is impossible for the hippo and croc be upstream). An interesting hut was built in such a way that when you sit into the hut, it is submerged into the water and the view of the window shows the clear view of the bottom of the lake. The only strange thing that we failed to comprehend is that this place is guarded with armed guards, perhaps it is to protect us from the wild animals as it is not gated.

Mzima Springs
Shetani Lava flow was impressive. Until today one can still see the hardened lava from the tip of the mountain flowing out to a great distance beyond the eyes can behold. Although I must admit there is nothing much to it except the trail of hardened lava rocks.

Shetani Lava Flow
My greatest fascination about Tsavo is the Baobab trees (which is also known as the upside down tree) that lines the journey from our guest house to the national park entrance and the cheap souvenirs ( Starting price of wood cravings here are already half the price in Nairobi!)

Baobab Tree
Mombasa (Best stopover between Tsavo and Mombasa is at Voi)
I was a little disappointed with Mombasa as I was kind of expecting it to be more like Lamu, the arabic coastal town. Unfortunately it is far from it, no wonder they named Lamu as the UNESCO Heritage site. Didn't really get to see the beautiful side of Mombasa, around Diani beach so I guess I can't comment much about Mombasa.

Enjoyed dinner at Tamarind :) Quite worth the while as the seafood is fresh and abudant, plus the view is AMAZING!

Ariel view from Fort Jesus. A fort left by the Portuguese. Basically similar to the one the left behind in Malaysia but this one was more impressive as the structure i basically still preserved with a touch of the Ottaman reign.
My biggest fascination in Mombasa, the giant tortoise! I guess the picture explains it all.
Author: Yellow Duckie
When it comes to the month of August, tourist and locals alike will flock the great Masai Mara to witness one of "National Geographic Event" : The Great Wildbeest Migration.
Although I have to admit that I am beginning to get tired of sitting for hours in the car hunting to catch a glimpse of the wild animals, I am glad that this trip truly did not disappointed me.

My countdown of the list of exciting "encounters" during this particular Safari trips are:
The great Migration (Of course)
I must admit that the amount of safari jeep surrounding the viewing site was quite intimidating. It was at the same time quite exhilirating as we were not allowed to drive close to the river bank until the wildbeest starts crossing (this can be a few minutes to a couple of hours wait), once they started crossing the river, all the jeeps fights for a space as they inch closer to the river bank for a good view.
While the crossing was carried out, one tiny crocodile glided from upstream towards the wildbeest. We were thinking that this could be our lucky day to witness the crocodile eating the wildbeest but instead, it got trampled over by the wildbeest and escape unhurt.

The Leopard playing "Cat and Mice chase" with the Hare
Just inches away from our jeep, a leopard was preying on a hare, who seems to be quite oblivion to its surrounding. Though hare may seems to be oblivion that the Leopard had its eyes fixed on it, the Leopard eventually did not manage to get hold of the hare regardless of the countless tactics it has tried. I guess the Hare ws quite aware that it was on danger ground all along.

Crocodiles had its lunch by the riverbank full of wildbeest
This was quite unexpected (again there is nothing "expected" when it comes to safari). We were enjoying the view of a huge group of wildbeest lowering their heads by the river bank for a drink when out of a sudden, a huge crocodile jumps up from the river and grab hold of one of the unlucky wildbeest. The crocodile pulls the wildbeest into the water, drowning it while being joined by a few another crocodiles as they devour their lunch. Indeed, it is our lucky day :) (Perhaps not fo that poor wildbeest)
Good shot of a masai man (our tour guide)
I would recommend the guide from Riverside Camp. Thus far, my friends and I never got disappointed using their service. They really know their stuffs.
Author: Yellow Duckie
What I really like most about Kenya is the easy access for a perfect weekend gateaway. Away from the hustle bustle of city life into the peaceful relaxing weekend spot. I found mine at Lake Naivasha. With just barely 2 hours car ride, you'll find yourself embraced by the beauty of God's creation.

Our choice was Sopa Lodge at Lake Naivasha and it was truly unbeatable. Once you entered the gates, you left all your worries behind. The lodge is well hidden by the lakeside and each room is a little two storey cottage which contains four rooms (two on the ground floor and two above). The rooms on the ground floor open up to the green field leading to the lake. Giraffes and other animals can be easily spotted here. Hippos do get close to the hotel compound in the dark as well.

With the full board service , complimentary use of the swimming pool, gym and steam room, one could not ask for more.
Author: Yellow Duckie
Struggling to fight against my sleepiness, I was struck in awe when the plane glided gracefully among the hills and landed on one of them. First thought that came to my mind was : Awesome...Rwanda is beautiful.
Armed with the knowledge that Rwanda is known as the country of thousand hills still did not prepare me for the magnificent sight which I must admit is very different from the African cities which I have been too. It was nothing but hills in Rwanda..endless hills.
The city of Kigali is extremely clean and the condition of the road is superb! Coming from a country where bumpy rides is often encountered, this is real comfort! In this short visit of mine, I only have 2 items in my "To-Do" list in Rwanda : Visit the Gorillas and the church where the genocide happened where upon completion I would say that I have officially visited Rwanda.
Mountain Gorillas
Everyone who knows a little more about the mountain gorillas of Rwanda, will be informed about getting a place to see the Susa group. They are indeed the biggest group of gorilla and we were thrilled that we were able to be part of the team to see them.
As you might have already known, one day, only 56 permits are issued to see these beautiful creatures and the price of the permit is EXORBITANT (even though I think that the experience was awesome but still it is too expensive), 500 USD per person excluding transport to the park.

Excited as I was being able to get a place to see the Susa group but the hike up to where they were was pure torture to my limbs and lungs. The altitude itself makes it difficult for the hike and plus the fact that we hardly exercise makes it even more difficult.

However difficult the hike was, i must admit that the trail was quite nice as we passes through the villages on the slope, passing through their farms but the last 20 minutes hike in the forest was not too pleasant as we were practically diving among the scrubs.

The feeling of the gorillas being only a mere 3m away from you (not caged) was simply stunning. The heavy mist around us made it felt as though we were in a dream...
Situated only 25 KM away from the city of Kigali, this place can be visited within a couple of hours. Not that I am anticipating to experience the eerie feeling of visiting the genocide site but I Pre-empted myself before arrival at the site. However, it was not the case for me, the site was peaceful. So peaceful that it was hard to imagine that a genocide happened on the very ground we were standing on.

Lake Kivu
I must admit that there is nothing much about this lake except for the serenity of th e surrounding and the long boring journey of getting there.

Images of Rwanda (in my head), apart from the Gorillas and history about the genocide were:
Add Image
Sorghum Wheat: My first time seeing it...a lot of it in Rwanda :)

Yellow oil like chili oil : Do not underestimate this mild looking substance, it is really spicy.

Odd Looking mosque
Loads of banana tress
.and the tasty grilled chicken with long legs and wings, which I believe until today that it was not chicken that we had for dinner that night...
Author: Yellow Duckie
I have to admit that the perfect combination for a long weekend in Kenya is a great road trip plus great company. This time, one of my dear friend has selected Lake Baringo to be our destination for pure pleasure and relaxation. Apart from the heat, this place is fits exactly what we were looking for.

The entire trip took us 4 hours to get to Kampi ya Samaki, the shore of Lake Baringo, from Nairobi. We were then transfered by a moderate speed boat to a "fanstasy island" where you will find absolute solitude from the outside world. However, if you do not want to be disturbed, you might want to toss your phone into the lake while you are being trasnfered from the shore as phone coverage on this island is good.


The tents at Island camp ( where we stayed were surprisingly in good condition and the bathrooms are clean. With the low season in tow, we almost had the whole camp site to ourselves.

By the pool
If you think swimming in the lake, you better forget about it as this place is a haven for the the hungry crocodiles that would be delighted to have you in between their powerful jaw. Besides the murky water is not that inviting anyway. Stick to the pool 3m pool in the campsite is my advise to you.

View point
One of the most enjoyable activities I find is the walk through the village nearby. Instead of having to pay 10 USD to visit a commercial Masai village, we get to stroll into a live village where everyone were running about doing their own business and throw curiousity looks as we passed by without any harrassment. I was told that they were known as the Sea Masai as fishing is part of their survival skills instead of hearding cows.

Smoked Fish


At night, the path in the campsite is well lighted and the lighting effects is breathtaking. Do be cautious as there are alot of creepy crawlies along the way, as close as you can be to nature I would say.


Like many islands which carries a legend to magnified the mysterious character of the island, there is an uncharted island right opposite this island, known as the Devil's Island. According to the locals, if you happen to be in that particular island alone at night, you will hear your name being called. It was also said that screaming can be heard and fire sightings in the island, however, no one has even witness it.
Friendly visitor
I strongly recommend this place if you are looking for a great relaxing weekend.
Author: Yellow Duckie
Climbing Mt Kenya, the second highest peak in Africa, is never in my "TO-DO" list but that doesn't mean I should miss the opportunity the view of this majestic mountain. Hence the road trip around Mt Kenya..literally around it.

Bracing through the messy traffic in Thika, we finally left the city heading towards the town called Embu. There are couple of major towns around Mt Kenya which serves as the base for experienced hikers that have made the decision to conquer the mountain and Embu happened to be one of them. I must admit that there is nothing particularly interesting here.

Before arriving at Embu, we pass through the region known as the Mwea National reserve. This is where I would call it the rice bowl of kenya as most of the Pishori rice (Basmati like) sold in the supermarkets are produced here. I paid 150 Kenya shillings (KSH) for 1 kg and later found out that you could get rice from this region in Nakumatt (local supermarket) in Nairobi for only 133 KSH! But supposed, the money goes directly into their pocket...

From Embu we head towards Meru , Nanyuki and completing the circle near Nyeri before heading back to Nairobi. The journey was not too disappointing although there were not many scenic point as have expected. I enjoyed the road from Meru to Nanyuki. Thus far, I believe that part has got the best scenic point of the mountain besides the breathe taking view of the sunflower fields and the fresh green wheat fields. For self catering guests, there is a huge Nakumatt in Meru, where you can get decent lunch and stock up for your stay in the Meru National park or even your hike up to Mt Kenya.

At the equator

Miraa is famous in this region. It is a leafy twig which is actually a mild stimulant.It is chewed and said to give you flow ideas while you are at it. These mild stimulants' potency diminishes after 48 hours thus the Miraa drivers has got excellent skills in driving from the Meru region to Nairobi Wilson airport and have it transported to Mogadishu (where Miraa is widely used in Somalia) ASAP.

Fields of Sunflower

The "Microsoft" screensaver scenery...

The Peak of Mt Kenya

This road trip took almost 12 hours with minimal stopovers and extended stay to wait for the cloud to shift away from the peak of the mountain so that we can get a good shot of it.
Author: Yellow Duckie
Sunset caught at Le Gnoush Conquiche ~ waterfront that overlooks the city of Maname from Muharraq's side (island where the Bahrain airport is)

It was hazy due to the "sandstorm" and definitely not a perfect day to catch sunset.

The sun just disappeared into the "haze"
Author: Yellow Duckie
Driving in Bahrain can be quite a challenge. Apart from the well maintained road, except for some disruption from the construction, knowing your way around is crucial here. Believe it or not, I actually spent almost 40 mins trying to get my way out of the city center to the main street..thank God that petrol here cost only 0.3 USD here.

For one, the sign board in Bahrain is hopeless...and I thought Malaysia was bad. I tried searching for the famous Tree of Life but I ended up in Durrat Al-Bahrain (the furthest point in the south of Bahrain). Although I eventually did find it, it was with much difficulties...the sign board just stop appearing after a while and worst part is that if you are coming from the other side of the road, you will definitely not see it as it was intended for traffic in the opposite direction. Sometimes, the sign boards are even hidden amongst the bushes...

Generally, the drivers here are impatient and selfish. Impatient to the point that a few seconds if your car doesn't move at the green light, you will definitelly get hooted at. As for selfish, it doesn't matter whose right of road it is, I'm charging forward and you will have to give way.
Parking? I have no complains. Perhaps is the ample parking space they have here or the population here is just so little that I never seems to be having problem finding a space for my car. Those days in One U (Shopping mall in Malaysia) seem so distance now where finding a parking space can be an hour affair. Be it in the shopping mall, hospital or market, there is always a spot ready for your car.
Apart from these, I must admit that driving in Bahrain is quite a comfort.
Author: Yellow Duckie
Bahrain, at one glance may seem to have nothing attractive apart from the F1 Circuit and for me, the extravaganza Shopping mall. However, there is something I discover (although I knew it all along) is that the night scene in Bahrain is quite a sight to behold.

Fountain with the Financial Harbor as Background

This country does not seem to have much of their own resources to survive on and yet it is well developed for the comfort of the residents here. There is no lacking in this country. One thing for sure is that they definitely know how to light up their works of architecture.

Author: Yellow Duckie

My first shot of the Moon :)