Exploring Kenya’s Northern Scapes

Above: Campfire at Melako community conservancy – Marsabit county. courtesy NRT

Published: The East African Nation media 16-22 May 2020

After COVID-19, escape to Kenya’s northern-scape or even now if you’re not in Nairobi or Mombasa during

By Rupi Mangat

It is from the shoulder of god’s mountain that you get that first unforgettable view of the land below that stretches into infinity. It’s the plains and peaks of the northern frontiers of Kenya that is so alive with peoples, wildlife and cultures unique to this part of the world, adapted to the searing sun and resilient flora.

Until 20 years ago most of it was unknown to the outside world until the success of Lewa Conservancy that became one of the first black rhino sanctuaries during the infamous poaching era that saw the country’s rhino numbers crash from 20,000 black rhino in the 1970s to fewer than 300 by the 1980s.

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From Masindi Exploring Kabalega’s Kingdom, Uganda

Above: Approaching Murchison falls in the National Park. Copyright: i Rupi Mangat 2017

Published: The East African Nation media

Part 2 of 2

By Rupi Mangat

At first glance Masindi gives the impression of a one-street, non-descript town with relics of colonial architecture. But is has interesting history as Sally Wareing, the retired octogenarian teacher who bought a run-down hotel and turned it into a charming garden hotel called New Garden View Court Hotel. It’s 90 kilometres from the world’s most powerful waterfall, Murchison.

Kabalega Primary School Masindi Uganda (800x600)
Kabalega Primary School Masindi Uganda built 1914. Copyright Rupi Mangat

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In Kabalega’s Kingdom: Bunyoro in Uganda

Above: Royal tomb of King Kabalega near Hoima in Uganda. Copyright Rupi Mangat

Published: The East African Nation media 25 April 2020

By Rupi Mangat

Powerful and progressive, Kabalega defended his kingdom against colonial onset

It was the taxi driver who announced, “The royal tomb of Kabalega is here.”  He brought the car to a halting screech when he realized l was serious about seeing it.

At that point Kabalega was quite unknown to me. I was whiling away days in Masindi visiting friends. With time on my hands and no intention of doing Murchison Falls – for now dubbed as the most powerful waterfall in the world – which l had visited in 2017, l was following in my late grandmother’s steps to Hoima. She gave birth in each of the three East African countries with the last born in Hoima in the 1940s.

Hoima was only 60 kilometres further west of Masindi and another 20 to Lake Albert, one of the African great lakes in the rift.

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A Weekend Away on Lake Naivasha

By Rupi Mangat

Above: Maasai giraffe at Ecoscapes Conservancy Lake Naivasha

Published: Saturday Nation 4 April 2020

We’re in a land from the time of the dinosaurs. While there may or may not have been dinosaurs around Lake Naivasha, there’s a tiny wasp that has been around for some 60 million years ago when dinosaurs where going out of fashion.

Driving on Moi North tarmac road that circles part of the freshwater lake that is the highest of the rift lakes, the earth road that follows is a gorgeous grove of fig trees – Ficus wakefieldii to be precise because there are over 750 species of fig trees in the world. Each one of them has strong trunks with wide spread branches that look like a work of art in a natural gallery.

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Via Via Entebbe: Taste the World

Above:

Published: The East African Nation media 21- 27 March 2020

I’m super excited to be staying at Via Via in Entebbe, booked by the staff at the New Court View Hotel in Masindi that’s the nearest town from the epic Murchison Falls National Park that boasts the ‘most powerful waterfall in the world’. It’s my next stop.

Reception at Via Via Entebbe. Copyright Rupi Mangat
Welcome to Via Via Entebbe. Copyright Rupi Mangat

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