Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Why Kenya Railways are still a joke

Q: What goes three times a week and is usually late? A: The train from Nairobi to Mombasa.

I don't know who comes out looking worse in this investigation in today's Nation by Jaindi Kisero. Is it this crook Roy Puffet (great name for a railway robber baron. . .) or the shambling Kenyan "technocrats" and World Bank "advisors" who fell for his nonsense? Jaw-dropping. . .

The end of malaria tablets?

Bill Gates is saying we might have the first, partiallly effective but workable malaria vaccine by 2013, and a full, 100% vaccine by 2020. No more doxycycline, malarone or lariam. That would be a huge breakthrough for travellers in Kenya and throughout Africa. Not to mention for local people, who have to put up with this disease all their lives. Currently, across Africa 3000 children a day die of malaria.

The BBC story is here.

Monday, January 25, 2010

Reader recommendation: Oloshaiki camp in the Mara

I thought I'd pass this straight on, as Amayllis posted it as a comment to an unrelated post. I haven't visited, and obviously can't verify the information. The opinions here are not mine. The camp is on the Talek, which is quite a busy area, and the website doesn't include the camp's rates, which I think they really should.

Hi Richard,
To stay in the Maasai Mara I recommend Camp Oloshaiki. It's located just a few kilometers outside Talek gate on the bank of Talek river. Small camp with only 7 spacious tents, each with it's own veranda overlooking Talek river. They used local material, all is handcrafted and despite of the luxury which seems to be inescapable in kenyan safari accomodation, you still feel very close to the gorgeous nature around. I liked very much that it's definetely not that "Out of Africa" style many other camps create for their guests. Very good food, beverage at reasonable prices, inside and outside dining areas, a bonfire after dinner, good showers + beds (the latter of course with mosquito nets). At Oloshaiki you are surrounded by very friendly, attentive Maasai and if you show real interest, you will benefit - especially on game drives or bush walks - from their enourmous knowledge about animals, plants, and people. I loved to be there and hope to return very soon.
Their website: http://camp-oloshaiki-kenya.com/

Greetings, Amaryllis

Thursday, January 07, 2010

Eclipse in Kenya 15 January 2010

I've just heard about this bonus for anyone in Kenya on 15th January 2010 - an annular eclipse of the sun in which the moon will be in front of the sun, but appearing smaller than the sun, with a ring of sun all round it, so not as intense as a total eclipse.

The timer in Wikipedia's nifty graphic from NASA shows GMT, so it will be three hours later in Kenya.

I'm not sure how spectacular it will be. An operator called Astronomy Tours will be at Lake Nakuru, which I think is currently very rainy/cloudy, but there'll be a partial eclipse throughout Kenya, and anyone in Lamu will also get the full annular effect for 5 minutes.

I thought this was rather exciting - feedback welcome.