We spent our first night in Kenya in ACK (Anglican Church of Kenya) guesthouse in Nairobi before our buss ride to Taita. The hotel was welcoming and comfortable with artistically folded towels and everything. After breakfast in the hotel we backed our bags in the roof of a minibus that we are going to be using through our whole journey and hit the road with our driver Robert. The ride to Taita Hills from Nairobi is approximately 350 km and takes about 7 hours.
After a short drive we stopped in a supermarket to buy snacks and water for the whole trip. Before entering the supermarket, security guards performed a body check for all of us which was new experience for me at least. The Kenyan ban for plastic bags was visible in the supermarket: fruit and all our other purchases were not packed in plastic bags. Instead plastic reducing or completely alternative packaging were used.
After few hours of driving we stopped to eat lunch in a Sikhi temple in Makindu. The temple was build over 100 years ago so that the Indian railroad builders would have a place to practice their religion. Lunch was delicious and free but it was custom to leave small donation (around 200-300 Ksh aka. few euros) as a way of thanking the temple for their hospitality.
Our road trip included nerve-racking moments in the traffic as the style of driving differs from Finnish one greatly. We passed many small villages that are located next to the road. We got our first sightings of the great wildlife of Kenya. We saw the vegetation types changing as the climatic conditions vary along the leg. And Africa really looks like the Africa from nature documentaries!
Closer to the end of our drive we stopped to buy some sauna beers at a village called Voi.
At 6 pm we made it to the Taita research station after a long day of sitting in the minibus, surrounded by amazing scenery though. We met staff of the station who welcomed us here warmly. Then we finished the day with a nice dinner that the station chefs had made for us.
We’re finally here!