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  • Dan Goodwin

Picky Safari


The big open country looking to Ol Jogi

Having spent over twenty years delivering outdoor education a lot of that time is spent encouraging others to do things which they feel nervous or uneasy about. So it was my turn to take my own advice. I wanted to go on a solo multi day weekend trip into the bush and into the wilds of Laikipia and so did.

What a great experience It was too and I should think many more to come. With the bike loaded I left Nanyuki heading for the village of Illpoi. Dirt roads with some rather sketchy moments takes you past various conservancy’s. Elephant, Giraffe, Zebra and a few other things spotted. But it's incredibly dry at the moment and the animals will be struggling with the drought.

Winding along the sand and dirt tracks passing Ol Jogi and under the Loldaiga hills you get a real sense of the scale of Kenya and its big wide open spaces. For someone who loves that you couldn't really be in a better place.

Coming out near Kiganjo although I took a wrong turn

I was a bit nervous that something would go wrong with the bike which would have rendered me in a tight spot just armed with a few spanners of which I didn’t know what to do with. The bike is a Chinese Tiger 170cc so enough power without being too much as Im just getting going. Stripping off various parts to make it lighter made the difference. They are also very common bikes here which makes fixing them very easy. So certainly some lessons to be learnt in terms of self sufficiency on these trips with mechanics although they are quite simple in that respect.Certainly carry everything you need food, camping and tools so that you could just pitch up camp wherever you end up. Part of the fun is not knowing where you will end up. Although for this first test I stuck to a route I knew for the most part.

Making it into Ilpoloi was a relief and also having dropped a considerable height very hot. I stayed the night at Twala camp. A women’s community camp which we have used many times before with schools pre covid. But Rosemary who runs the community although struggling with Covid and lack of tourism hasn’t been doing nothing in the mean time. Its been expanding and now has a permanent water source. Which will make a huge difference to the community.

After a good nights sleep it was on with the loop taking the road over past the giant egg boulders and onto Kiganjo a slightly larger Masai town and onto Ol Gaboli to cross the river at the new bridge (thankfully as its not crossable by bike). The track takes you through some deep bush and out past the Impala research conservancy. With a long and bumpy ride through to Naibor and onto the tarmac and back to base from there.

The huge Egg boulders on the road to Kiganjo
The open road, sandy which makes things a little sketchy to the uninitiated

Certainly a great way to travel and some big distances can be covered I think the main thing is to make sure you are entirely self sufficient. Some bigger trips planned for the future when time allows. Looks like we might be quite busy over the coming weeks as the adventure training courses are filling up.


A local Masai herder finding things hard in the drought

Till the next journey........


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