Exploring Laikipia County And Its High-Spirited People!

Travel
Rumuruti_Livestock_Market

 

Ahoy!! 😀 Are you ready to explore #DestinationLaikipia?

I’ve been counting down to this very moment, when I could finally share our Laikipia escapades with you… and BAM! It’s time. 😀

 

Late last year, I partook a splendid project touring Laikipia County to showcase its rich, diverse offerings.

I was thrilled to work alongside a team of superb Photographers & Bloggers: Mwangi Kirubi (Mwarv), Kevin Ouma, Mutua Matheka (Truth Slinger), Tj (the_mentalyst), Josh Kisamwa, Timothy Kariuki,  and Rachel (Safari 254).

Together, we covered over 3,000 Kilometers of open country, grand conservancies, rocky terrains, remote villages and towns!

I will share our stories, exploits and adventures in a continuing series dubbed #DestinationLaikipia.

<P.S. Look out for epic Vlogs & Blogs from the team as well.! > 🙂

 

 

The People Of West Laikipia

Laikipia County is colossal in size, extending from the Great Rift Valley to the slopes of Mount Kenya.

It boasts of a rich variety of cultures: the Samburu, Pokot, Borana, Kalenjin, Kikuyu, Turkana, Maasai and many more.

We were fortunate to encounter these beautiful People of Laikipia as they went about their daily lives…

#DestinationLaikipia

 

P.S. This is a small sample and not a representation of Laikipians as a whole.

 

 

Nyahururu Farmers’ Market

Our first team, tasked with exploring West and North-West Laikipia , consisted of Mwarv, Kevin, Tim and I. We also had John Kingori and Paul as our guides, from the Laikipia Tourism & County Govt. respectively.

The guys left Nairobi a day before, starting out in Nanyuki… I caught up the next day in Nyahururu, at the Farmers’ Market, where they were wrapping up.

Nyahururu is about a 3.5 hours’ drive from Nairobi, via the Gilgil Route. It is a lively town, known for its cool weather and plentiful, farm produce.

Thomsons_Falls

Thomson Falls, Nyahururu

 

The biting Nyahururu cold, slightly reminded me of Kinangop. 🙂

Clad in their heavy jackets & armed with steaming, hot tea, the sellers were barely fazed by the freezing cold or  imminent rains…

 

#DestinationLaikipia

Nyahururu_Market

 

Thanks to the rains, I didn’t get to chat up any of the sellers. However, I learned later on that the market services a significant portion of Laikipia County.

We retired for the night at Thomson Falls lodge in Nyahururu. <Look out for a future Post on Thomson Falls Lodge>

 

 

Rumuruti Livestock Market

The next day, we left Nyahururu for Rumuruti a little after 11 a.m, about an hours’ drive.

Pulling up, I was captivated by the wondrous colors of men and women spread out over the field, in their traditional Maasai garb.

 

#DestinationLaikipia

 

The scene resembled a Carnival, except it’s a market for their most prized possessions: cows & goats. It felt like we’d stepped into a different world… 😀

Sticking out like sore thumbs, in our non-traditional outfits and peculiar gadgets, we sought permission for pictures.

Destination_Laikipia

 

The Rumuruti Livestock Market is the biggest and best-planned market in Laikipia County. Similar, but smaller markets take place in Olmoran, Ngare Ngiro and Kimanjo.

Livestock buyers and sellers travel from Maralal, Meru, Gilgil, Isiolo, Nyeri, and Nairobi, to far as Somalia during peak seasons.

#DestinationLaikipia

 

It takes place every Thursday, and is open to all.

Laikipia

 

Some buy livestock for fattening-up in readiness for peak seasons, while others resell in Nairobi, Naivasha, and Mombasa for beef.

#DestinationLaikipia

Destination_Laikipia

Rumuruti_Livestock_Market

 

A Means To Survival

The market greatly supports these communities’ livelihoods. About 1,000 heads of cattle are sold in a month, and up to 10,000 sheep per month.

With cattle, the cost depends on a variety of factors: age, weight, gender & whether or not it’s a castrated bull. Usually, the cows weigh between 100-200kg.

The goats’ prices range from Kes. 7,000 to Kes. 15,000 per head.

Rumuruti_Livestock_Market

#DestinationLaikipia

#DestinationLaikipia

Happy Buyer, Happy Seller 🙂

 

One boy told us how his father usually brings him along to find odd jobs and learn the business.

“Today’s not a good day. There are too many kids here,” he said in Swahili. They don’t have the luxury of staying home when schools are closed. He earns about Kes. 500 on a good day.

I was genuinely impressed by the overall enterprising spirit of the market. It’s neither an easy nor a pretty affair, but they get it done. 🙂

 

Luonyek Village

After Rumuruti, we ventured into the deeper parts of Laikipia marked by limited connectivity and Conservancies teeming with wildlife.

We spent the second night at the glorious Ekorian’s Mugie Camp… (Read About it Here)

Day three saw us driving for miles with nothing but zebras, camels and shrubs for company, until we came upon Luonyek village. 🙂

Destination_Laikipia

 

It is home to a community of Pokots. They are a guarded people, wary of strangers…

#DestinationLaikipia

 

Uncertain of how they’d receive us, we stopped at a ‘respectful’ distance, before getting their Chief’s consent to wander in…

The villagers came out of their mabati houses to steal curious glances.

Destination_Laikipia

Not a curious glance…

 

And oh, their lovely children! 😀 At first they were shy, keeping a safe distance, until curiosity got the best of them…

Laikipia

 

Helpless giggles followed Mwarv around when he took off racing after a boy on his bicycle, to capture the right shot… 😀

And their eyes grew big with wonder at the Snapchat filters on my phone…

So we made silly Snapchat videos together and sang fake birthday songs for effect. The sound of their laughter was priceless. 🙂

Destination_Laikipia

 

You get the feeling that living in what looks like the middle of nowhere, the people of Luonyek are content in their simple pleasures and lifestyle. 🙂

Luonyek

Luonyek

Laikipia

 

I’ll always treasure this short, but special encounter at Luonyek Village. 🙂

Each of these unique experiences reminded us how much of Kenya there’s yet to see, feel and explore. 🙂

 

PHOTOGRAPHY BY:

Mwarv

Timothy Kariuki

&

Kevin Ouma

 


 

I look forward to sharing more of our #DestinationLaikipia escapades with you, plus the daring adventures we got up to with Team 2.

To ensure you don’t Miss a post, be sure to Subscribe>>on the Left 😉

Thank you for reading my lovelies! 😀 I would love to read your comments, questions or feedback. Leave a comment down below, and I’ll be sure to respond! 😀

 

 

<<Love & Light. Stay Inspired Always>>

 

 

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10 Comments

  • Reply
    Nesh
    February 19, 2018 at 1:54 pm

    I have fallen in love with laikipia and visited there twice this year already. Looking forward to future blogs about laikipia

    • Reply
      Scrapbook Journeys
      February 28, 2018 at 12:26 pm

      Good stuff!! I am glad to hear that you’ve been to beautiful Laikipia, yaay let’s keep loving on this county and get more people to appreciate its little known treasures! Thank you for reading! Appreciated! 100% 😀

  • Reply
    stanley
    February 11, 2018 at 4:23 pm

    Good work you have given as wide option where to visit during holidays.thanks

    • Reply
      Scrapbook Journeys
      February 13, 2018 at 3:46 pm

      Thank You for reading Stanley! I hope you take the time to explore the places, and share how it went! Many thanks! 😀

  • Reply
    nelius
    February 8, 2018 at 7:11 pm

    wow i am always look forward to reading your stories. I have been to Thomson falls its a beautiful place. keep up the great work.

    • Reply
      Scrapbook Journeys
      February 13, 2018 at 3:45 pm

      Hi Nelius! Always a great pleasure to read from you! I hope you’ve enjoyed your time back home!:D Yes Thomson Falls is a treasure 😀

  • Reply
    dave
    February 8, 2018 at 4:07 pm

    Wow!..Laikipia looks unique & good to visit

    • Reply
      Scrapbook Journeys
      February 13, 2018 at 3:44 pm

      Thank you for reading Dave! Great to read from you again! Stay tuned and Karibu Kenya 🙂

  • Reply
    Vivian
    February 8, 2018 at 3:18 pm

    Can’t wait to read and see more of Laikipia……..

    • Reply
      Scrapbook Journeys
      February 13, 2018 at 3:43 pm

      Awesome Viv! Always happy to read from you! Thanks a lot for reading & I look forward to sharing more Laikipia stories with you!

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