Backpacking Africa

Escape Nairobi on a $16.85 Microadventure in Kenya

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Microadventures are not a big deal in Nairobi, Kenya or even Africa. That being said, it’s hardly surprising that microadventure in Kenya is not a thing. After all, the buzz around microadventures is only taking off in the United Kingdom and has yet to really catch on anywhere else.

Also, it would be naive to think that this is an entirely new concept. After all, people take microadventures all the time – they just don’t know it yet! That is to say, the word “microadventure” is just another way to describe an adventure, a city break or a brief escape from the everyday routine.

Microadventures in Kenya, Africa

In case you might be asking yourself, Microadventures are defined as short, local escapes for busy people with busy lives. They are usually cheap and ideal for people who work 9 to 5 or have little vacation time from their job. Anyway, the same rules apply for a microadventure in Kenya and there is no real difference to taking one anywhere in Africa as opposed to anywhere in the UK.

For more information on this concept, check out this article about the future of Microadventures.

Backpacking Kenya

Taking a Microadventure from Nairobi

You can take an adventure from Nairobi for just $4.50? Yes. Depending on how you look at it, money is not necessarily required for an adventure. We just associate the two because advertisement, tours and savvy marketing lead us to think this way.

Anyway, for real, you can take a microadventure in Kenya for as little as $16.85. Let me explain.

Lake Naivasha is a stunning destination just two hours drive from Nairobi. Anytime I visit the capital, this is one of my absolute favourite places to stay in Kenya. You have Hells Gate and Crater Lake National Park’s nearby which require an entry fee but the lake itself is more than enough attraction. And then you have Elsamere – the famous home of Joy Adamson and Elsa the lion.

One Saturday, I had some free time and decided to take a microadventure from Nairobi. It was already 10am and I was without my own transport. But I decided to get going anyway and I boarded a matatu to the above mentioned Lake Naivasha.

The Matatu is an experience in Kenya – at least that’s what I tell my guests. In truth, they are slightly cramped and fast moving mini buses that connect up the towns and cities in Africa. What do you get for this lack of space and luxury? an important part of a microaadventure in Kenya and a whole lot of value. The fare from Nairobi to Lake Naivasha was just 300 Kenya Shillings (US$2.97) and I jumped out of the matatu in Lake Naivasha at lunchtime.

Microadventure Kenya

High Tea and Nature at Elsamere

After an entertaining ride and endless conversations on the matatu, I was at the gates of Elsamere. When you first arrive at Elsamere, you can watch a 40 minute video about the life of Elsa the lion. This story was a big deal back in the 1970’s and so much so that the Queen of England invited Joy Adamson to come visit.

Although the story is a fascinating one, my favourite thing about Elsamere is high tea and the luscious back yard. Yes, for 1000 Ksh ($9.92), you receive entry to the home along with a delicious variety of cakes and biscuits with tea and coffee.

Meanwhile, in the backyard, you can enjoy these delights as you sit surrounded by luscious trees, colobus monkey’s, baboons, and a myriad of birdlife. Hippo and even leopard are known to frequent the home too but this only happens at night and not when visitors are present.

Microadventure in Kenya – Quick Escapes for Busy Lives

When I finished exploring Elsamere and enjoying high tea, I took a stroll down to Fisherman’s Camp just a short distance away. Here, I decided to grab a ginger ale 100Ksh ($0.99) at the restaurant and take a walk down to the small pier. It was stunning and a memorable moment as some local fisherman sat quietly next to a pod of hippo.

Afterward, at around 5pm, I went back outside and boarded another matatu ($2.97) for my return to the city. My microadventure in Kenya was complete and it felt just as rewarding as any of my safari’s in recent weeks.

For just $16.85, I had escaped the busy city and taken a most refreshing microadventure from Nairobi.

Derek Cullen is an Irish Travel Blogger and an experienced overland tour leader in Africa. He is best known for cycling across Africa and hiking the Pacific Crest Trail.

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