The joy and thrills of ticking off a bucketlist is something that takes grip on me with all the might. The other day I got an opportunity to visit and stay at the majestic #OloidenCampsite. Now this is a wondrous destination set smack next to Lake Oloiden[this is a man-made lake which was formed when some settlers decided to take some chunk off the main lake naivasha. After a prolonged period of time the lake was completely cut off and become a stand-alone lake with so much bird life and beach line developed dotted with acacia trees.the lake also has a subsequent population of hippos and fishing is also done. You could also enjoy a thrilling refreshing boat ride as you enjoy views and sights as well as the numerous bird life].
The journey starts in Nairobi having picked up the clients[I was facilitating for Bucketlist Adventures] we head out on the Nairobi-Mai Mahiu road. We had a dreaded moment when one of the client got late… I mean seriously late but since it was a group of workmates and they knew each other they were willing to wait until their mate showed up but it cost them loads of attractions as they would not manage to make visit all the prearranged sites. We have a brief stopover at the great Rift Valley Escarpment viewpoint for a wondrous feast on the rift valley below and all the landmarks that our noble human eyes view could fathom with the most striking being Mt Suswa | Mt Longonot | Mt Margaret | Kikuyu Escarpment among others. The clients are an elated lot with phone cameras snapping ceaselessly and shouts and squeals of joy emanating from each and every one of them. I have to say am always taken in by the views myself and the client’s reaction always is a topping on the cake.
Having had enough of the views we board our vehicle and we proceed with our journey all the while my thoughts keep straying to the campsite. I have no reason why I have never traveled to the destination[Oloiden Campsite] albeit having been to Naivasha countless times. Am eager to experience the thrills rife on social timeline. Friends | clients posting wondrous moments while at the venue. Am suddenly aroused from my daydreaming as we approach Mt Longonot luckily it is a clear sky day and we can be able to see as far back as the peak of which is referred to as #KileleNgamia since it looks like a camel’s hump. Our driver does justice by reducing the speed so as to let our excited clients enjoy the view. We are soon to leave the mountain behind as we near the exit onto Moi South Lake road. This road is strewn with numerous lodges | hotels | campsites | wildlife conservation sites which offer thrilling getaways for travel enthusiasts. The road is also flanked by the fresh lake naivasha to the right and hellsgate national park to the left. Of mention also are the numerous flower and horticulture farms in the region. There seems to be a general cohabitation between humans,wildlife[which I noted with great awe that some come out at night and you can find hippopotamus and giraffes grazing as you drive along the road] and the natural features abundant in this travel region surely a gem of the great #magicalkenya. Soon we will be at our first attraction spot the Hellsgate National Park which is the only Kenyan park you can walk | cycle through as you enjoy wildlife ranging from buffalos | warthogs | gazelles | antelopes to mention but a few. Of note is that there are no dangerous animals like lions | leopards which makes it ideally safe. You could try out some rock climbing skills at the lone standing Fischer’s Tower[check the image below]. Rock climbing is an adrenaline sport adventure that keeps your adrenaline juices on edge. As you scale to unimaginable heights along the face maybe of a rock cliff blah blah am yet to have trust in my adrenaline junkie self to try it maybe could board soon when I have had assurances from experienced veterans.
Soon we almost to the gorges and luckily just before we could exit the park we came across a large herd of buffalos grazing peacefully next to the park road at section with lush grass. There were bulls, cows and calves in the herd and occasionally one or two would stop grazing and stare at our vehicle. We took a few moments as we waited for some of the clients who had decided to enjoy the thrill of cycling in the park.
Having caught up with the main group we proceed to the gorges where we proceed to book a tour with the local community guides. My favorite one is an old veteran Maasai man whom since the time I did my first gorge tour has been with this group which is mostly compromised of the Maasai community. He is a wizened jovial chap with immense knowledge of the gorges. He chats with vibrancy and he is an immediate hit with the clients as he takes us through the hidden gems in the crevices of the gorges from oloibon picnic site to devils kitchen and devils bedroom to devils showers the latter a hot spring that forms a beautiful hot cascade culminating into a beautiful simple waterfall. Most of the gorges has been as a result of continued erosion coupled with sporadic landslides with rock/cliff faces giving way to landslides. There are also volcanic activities taking place within and around the gorges which has led the government to embark on a project to harness Geothermal Energy which is a project currently undertaken by Olkaria Geothermal Energy Company. There are emergency exits though strewn all over through the gorges trails which serve as an escape route during times of flash floods. Our tour eventually ends up at gorge market another community project. With the famous maasai curios and also a traditional maasai blacksmith factory where they smelt iron into spears and arrows and other ornamental gems. Soon it is time to proceed to our next attraction. We are heading to Olkaria Geothermal Spa and Lodge. Here the Olkaria management came up with a cool ideal tapping the volcanic vapour and channeling it to this cool pool which forms a great spa and it is a hit with almost anyone who can manage to get themselves there either in groups | family | individuals. It is claimed that the hot water has medicinal value to human skins hence the popularity. Unfortunately we get to the pool late and we hardly in the water before the lifeguard calls for closing hour. We reluctantly come out but am sure the clients are irked with themselves for getting late. We soon on our way to Oloiden Campsite.
The feeling of butterflies fluffing in my tummy is back and holding a firm grip on me. Am so apprehensive of what will discover at this everyone’s favourite campsite. Behold the entrance just takes my breath away. The signpost is done nicely like the artist is made of fonts and can play with them just as they like. The calligraphy is done with much keen you would think it is done with a computer.
The main quarters as you enter through the gate manned by a polite calm guard are so appealing and behind the nicely done lawns I can make out glimpses of the camp grounds and the lake in the background. I can hear the incessant chirping of birds which are in hundreds of tones and pitches. The lakes in naivasha are a haven for birds and birdwatchers. I would highly recommend this region if you are into birdwatching. The driver finds a parking spot and we proceed to unload the clients’ luggage. As we proceed the camp manager comes over to welcome us and in tow is Bucketlist Adventures Ceo. After hearty pleasantries the clients are led to their campground where a bonfire already is crackling and tent quarters are already setup ready for occupancy. As soon as everyone has been allocated their sleeping quarters and dinner time announced every one of us proceeds to make their own discoveries. By this time twilight is slowly fading into darkness and the campgrounds seems to like come alive with embers here and there glowing and sparkling. The tents seem to make an aura of space with spacecrafts strewn all over. Oloiden lake from which the campsite takes its name whistles and watches the proceedings going on from the campground and can’t help to wonder if it wishes it would join in the proceedings. Psychic me. Now am trying to communicate with matter? Soon the call for dinner is upon us and our chef has prepared a sumptuous buffet meal which everyone devours down down with great appetite. Dinner done we retire to our end of the campground and soon the music system can be heard blaring latest hits as merry making takes toll. Drinks materialize magically and the party is in full swing. The bonfire continues to burn warmly and seems like the magical secret fuel that keeps everyone going late into the night. Soon the activities of the day seem to take a toll on me and I decide to call it a day as I retire to my tent. I murmur a prayer as I yearn and look forward to the break of day to explore the campsite more and make more discoveries….
The following morning we are blessed with a breathtaking sunrise sparkling over the lake making it glisten and seem to appear like it is also excited to see me wake up!! It is some minutes after 7am. Breakfast won’t be served until 8am so I got myself enough time time to explore and maybe raise my appetite levels that when breakfast is served I will be able to feast! The campgrounds are expanse and I love the way they have utilized every available space. The ground is covered in lush grass and dotted with gigantic acacia trees. There is an in-house[with a makuti roof] and an attached kitchen. The administration blocks are done in modern state of the art architecture. With neatly trimmed lawns. The camp has two sides that is the quiet side and the loud side with the latter is where you can play music and party at higher decibels. We of course camped on the loud side dummy how else would we have made party and late night cruise. There is a live wire fence running all round the campgrounds which I learn from the caretaker is to keep off hippopotamus-yeah there are hippopotamus at lake oloiden as there are in lake naivasha-from invading the camp especially at night. There is a boat dock for any camper who would love to go on a boat ride in the lake either as a group or individually. My excitement is over the moon. I came to the conclusion that most of the posts I have seen about this place were not an exaggeration but the real deal. Soon it is time to sit down and enjoy some hearty deliciously looking breakfast. The chef whom is contracted by Bucketlist Adventures is always on point with delicious healthy stylish cooking hence clients went ahead to nickname him Mastylo for his knack with the meals. Soon breakfast is over and everyone of thw clients is on explore mode with cameraphones clicking ceaselessly as memories are stored. Insta perfect images are in great demand and am not able to resist this bug as am also busy hijacking clients to also take pictures of me posing majestically……
Soon we ready for the clients to be taken through a team building session. The fun and thrills about team building is such delight. The process is a great one involving lots of activities to help mold and bond the team. The clients fully engage and they are really a good cooperative team. They immerse fully into the activities and it is such fun to watch as they engage and challenge each other from the most senior staff to the least. Team building is getting the staff working in unison like oiled gear system. Getting the staff to work together as they would. You get to share so much in a short moment that you wouldn’t when you in the corridors or the confines of the offices. The staff will be able to establish weaknesses amongst them and also improve on the strengths. The great facilitation of Bucketlist Adventures sister company Blackhammock gives assured results of staff motivation | improvement in team work etc to help rejuvenate your staff and their work area/ethics also. The camp offers this great setup that allows clients to unwind whether they are just camping or team building….
Soon it is time to call it wraps but since the previous day the clients did not get to have enough time at Olkaria Geothermal Spa they all take a vote to go back. For me it is sad to say goodbye to this wondrous campsite albeit with a swear to come back sooner than later. It is off to the thrills of a hot spa pool.. Au revoir camp Oloiden and see you soon…
At the spa we sure do have a great moment swimming and others just lounging at the pool steps calmly enjoying the water that keeps fluctuating from hot to lukewarm as the rest of are soon to engage in water games and posing for camera. The spa is a bucketlist for sure if you want to experience a great spa moment. The best to join a group for assured plenty of fun as you engage in each other’s craziness and playfulness…
Soon it is time to say adios to this great venue. We are soon on our way heading back to Nairobi. We head back via Nakuru-Naivasha-Nairobi highway. We couldn’t risk using the Naivasha-mai Mahiu-Nairobi road since it being a Sunday there is a lot of traffic especially the transit trucks and the road gets so jam packed. Am glad that I have managed to tick off my bucketlist. Soon will be looking forward to another escapade and maybe another chance to tick off another bucketlist.. Au revoir | Adios | Kwaheri | Bye
Credits: Bucketlist Adventures | Oloiden Campsite
Writer: Albert K Mwaura | Oletifithi
About: founder | tour operator | guide | traveler at Manyani Delight Travels