Dodo’s Tower (Hippo Point Naivasha)

Well this week our “Identify” competition on Facebook

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was slightly difficult. So much so that in fact it took three days before Monicah Wanjiku won the Pizza Inn voucher. The location in question was Dodo’s Tower in Naivasha. Here’s some information on it.

Consistently rated as one of the top wildlife retreats in the world, the eight-story Tower is one of the most luxurious and private Kenyan homes frequented by people in search of the unusual wishing to contribute to conservation. Custom-built by Dodo Cunningham-Reid and still used as the family’s second home today – the Tower is open to a limited number of guests during the year.

From here you can enjoy breathtaking views over Oloidien Bay and follow at eagle-eye the movements of the hippos, giraffe and zebra grazing at the foot of the Tower. The rustling of the lake and the sounds of the bush create at all hours a magical symphony of peace and tranquility, broken only by the splashing of water as the hippos venture out into the bush under the cover of darkness.

A healthy romantic morning breakfast is served outside under the towering yellow fever acacias while in the evening intimate candlelit dinners bring the guests back to bygone days of wild simplicity and unspoiled elegance. There are 4 Double rooms, 1 single ground floor room – a dining room, kitchen, spacious living room with incredible balcony, writing room, meditation room and a small top view room. Ideal for a family looking for a unique luxury experience in Africa. Sleeps 9.

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Karichota Cottage Naro Moru

On the slopes of Mt Kenya nestled on a 10 acre plot of olive and cedar trees is the Karichota cottage. A four bedroom getaway owned and run by Keith Pearson from the Theatre Company and gets its name from a nearby stream.
The first thing you notice even before you get to the house is all the green. Thunderstorm season has been really good for the forest and the trees have just been soaking it up. The cottage itself boasts the aforementioned four bedrooms, an artist’s creative space, a modern kitchen, a covered verandah and a fireplace. There’s also a gazebo and two tents right at the edge of the forest (a lovely place to sleep if you want to wake up to bird calls, but if you do make sure you’re warm, that mountain air bites!) I had three days there but right out of the van I wasted no time and was off into the forest, hiking down the trail to the river. I’d been told that there were elephants in the area but the only evidence I could see of them was their giant footprints and spoor (that’s poop in layman’s terms). Also in case the elephants get too curious there’s an elephant fence too to keep them away. On that first hike it became evident that the area is an orthonoligist’s paradise (bird watchers).The cottage has a small collection of books and one of them is a book on east African bird species and it’s a great ‘carry with’ when you’re going hiking (yes I just made up the word ‘carry with’), but carry your own binoculars I didn’t spot a pair at the house.The river itself was rapid what with all the rains but not so daunting as to scare away the average swimmer. Don’t forget its source is the mountain so it’s cold as hell. In fact we used the river later in the trip to chill bottles of white wine and vodka.By the time I got back Michael Ndambuki, the resident manager/field guide, had started a fire to keep back the cold and the girls had all sat around it.
Strangely enough the guys were in the kitchen cooking while the girls lazed around…The kitchen at Karichota is fully stocked with crockery, cutlery and all manner of utensils. There’s even a coffee strainer thing for the caffeine fiends. Suggested shopping should definitely include canned foods, bread, spreads, vegetables, noodles, rice and flour. Just consider it as shopping for camping.We were in a group so we were all over the house with board games, drinking games and telling stories. Of course that didn’t stop some of us from secluding themselves with a book in a part of the house or grabbing a blanket and sitting in the garden looking up at a night’s sky so filled with stars it seems surreal.
Karichota means different things to different people. To some it means a place to go catch up with old friends and make new ones. To others it’s where you go to create your new master piece or to just be one with nature and the universe.
How to book Karichota
Call or SMS Keith Pearson (0722815112) at least a fortnight before your intended departure date.
Directions
-Take Thika road from Nairobi to Karatina.
-!2 km after Karatina turn right onto the road to Nanyuki
-drive 34 km till Naro Moru town and approx. 6km past the town you’ll see a small set of veggie kiosks and a sign that sys PCEA on your left. There should also be a mini petrol station.
-turn right there and follow the track for 1km and turn left at the Karichota sign.

Dodo’s Tower (Hippo Point)

Well this week our “Identify” competition on fcebook was slightly difficult. So much so that in fact it took three days before Monicah Wanjiku won the Pizza Inn voucher. The location in question was Dodo’s Tower in Naivasha. Here’s some information on it.

Consistently rated as one of the top wildlife retreats in the world, the eight-story Tower is one of the most luxurious and private Kenyan homes frequented by people in search of the unusual wishing to contribute to conservation. Custom-built by Dodo Cunningham-Reid and still used as the family’s second home today – the Tower is open to a limited number of guests during the year.

From here you can enjoy breathtaking views over Oloidien Bay and follow at eagle-eye the movements of the hippos, giraffe and zebra grazing at the foot of the Tower. The rustling of the lake and the sounds of the bush create at all hours a magical symphony of peace and tranquility, broken only by the splashing of water as the hippos venture out into the bush under the cover of darkness.

A healthy romantic morning breakfast is served outside under the towering yellow fever acacias while in the evening intimate candlelit dinners bring the guests back to bygone days of wild simplicity and unspoiled elegance. There are 4 Double rooms, 1 single ground floor room – a dining room, kitchen, spacious living room with incredible balcony, writing room, meditation room and a small top view room. Ideal for a family looking for a unique luxury experience in Africa. Sleeps 9.ImageImage

TOP TEN SUMMER COCKTAILS

Dawa-Signature Kenyan Cocktail

It’s summer time people and thank God for that. The sun is out and it’s time to hit the pools the beaches and you know…any general place where you’d love to cool off. Here’s a list of drinks available all over Kenya where a cool breeze and even cooler water is to be had. And for our teetotalers there’s no worries because all the drinks are also available in ‘virgin’ options. Because we here at SFA are so nice we’ve tossed in instructions on how to make them yourself at your own pool parties even before you make it to the beach.

DAWA

Dawa is an appropriate first cocktail as it’s an African cocktail – the word ‘dawa’ meaning ‘medicine’ in Swahili.  It’s a refreshing drink and excellent first cocktail for the cool afternoons by the pool/beach
Ingredients:
  • Vodka
  • Crushed ice
  • 1 tsp sugar
  • 1 fresh lime quartered with skin on
  • 1 dawa stick (muddler) coated thickly with honey
Preparation:
  1. Grab a whiskey tumbler and squeeze in the lime and sugar (leaving the squeezed lime quarters in the glass)
  2. Add the crushed ice and then pour in a double measure of vodka
  3. Then twist the dawa stick in some honey and add the stick to the drink
  4. Muddle the limes with the dawa stick and drink.  As you are drinking continue to muddle the ingredients together – the more you muddle the sweeter the drink will be.

PIMMS NO 1.

Pimms is a gin based liquor and is great as a pre-meal cocktail by the pool.

Ingredients:
  • Pimms
  • Lemonade (or Ginger Ale is a good alternative)
  • Sodawater
  • Slice of lemon
  • Sprig of mint
  • Slice of cucumber
Preparation:
  1. Pour a measure (or 2) of Pimms into a tall glass with ice
  2. Add half the lemonade and half the soda (a combination of the lemonade and soda works well so the drink is not too sweet)
  3. Garnish with the lemon, mint and cucumber

Note: If you fancy a bit of a ‘kick’ pour in a splash of gin!

seabreeze

SEABREEZE

A seabreeze is a refreshing perfect summer cocktail and can be enjoyed pre-lunch, post-lunch or to kick start the evening after a stressful day of lying on a lounger and walking a long the beach.(I know right? soo much work)

Ingredients:
  • Vodka
  • Cranberry juice
  • Grapefruit juice
Preparation:
  1. Pour a couple of measure of vodka over ice served in a tall glass
  2. Pour in the cranberry juice (3/4)
  3. Pour in the grapefruite juice (1/4)
  4. Garnish with a wedge of lemon

BLOODY MARY

A cocktail list is never complete without the good old Bloody Mary.  This cocktail is perfect anytime – pre-lunch, mid afternoon, pre-dinner or at breakfast to smooth the head after a big night and kick start your day!

Ingredients:
  • Vodka
  • Tomato juice
  • Worcestershire sauce
  • Tobasco sauce
  • Lemon juice
  • Salt & pepper
  • Celery
Preparation:
  1. Pour 2 measures of vodka into a large glass filled with ice
  2. Add the tomato juice, worcestershire, tobasco, lemon juice, s&p and mix well.  The amount of worcestershire and tobasco is very personal – best to start with just a few drops of each, do the taste test and add more if necessary.
  3. Garnish with a celery stick

MANGO DAIQUIRI

If you are at the coast mangoes are plentiful and so sweet and delicious so it would be sacriledge not to indulge and enjoy a cocktail made from this luscious fruit.

Ingredients:
  • 2 Mangoes
  • 2 measures White Rum
  • 1 measure Vodka
  • Lemon juice
  • Sugar syrup
  • Crushed ice
Preparation:
  1. Combine the mango, rum, vodka, splash of lemon juice and 1 tbsp of sugar syrup in a blender and blend until smooth.
  2. Add the crushed ice and blend again until just combined
  3. Pour into a cocktail glass and serve immediately

Note: For the sugar syrup, combine 1 1/2 cups caster sugar and 1 1/2 cups water in a saucepan over medium heat. Heat, stirring, for 5 minutes or until sugar dissolves. Increase heat to high. Bring to the boil. Pour into a jug. Refrigerate until cold. Makes 2 cups.

 

The Mojito, The ultimate chill drink

NON-ALCOHOLIC MOJITO

If alcohol is not your thing but enjoying the party atmosphere and colourful drinks are all the above cocktails can still be enjoyed without the alcohol – the favours are still delicious.  The Mojito is another one that is full of flavour and a very refreshing coastal drink.

Ingredients:
  • Handful of mint leaves
  • 1 tbsp of sugar
  • Juice of one fresh lime
  • Soda water
  • Crushed ice
Preparation:
  1. Place meet leaves in the bottom of a glass
  2. Add the crushed ice, sugar and lime juice and muddle
  3. Pour in the soda and garnish with mint leaves

Note: to make an alcoholic mojito simply add a measure of rum at stage 2 and continue as per instructions.

Student Flights Africa is happy to book your trip to anywhere in the coast where you can enjoy these amazing cocktails. They are also available at the myriad of restaurants bistros and hotels spread all over Nairobi (Kenya’s capital of cuisine)