We left the capital heading towards the Nguruman Escarpment in the early hours of the morning to avoid traffic. The Magadi road is one of my favourite routes in Kenya, even when it was covered with horrendous potholes which left me with a sore, it still took my breath away. BUT you’d be pleased to know the road has been re-tarmacked all the way to Magadi town. Yay to comfortable drives!
Cool fact – did you know the road to Magadi was a route for the Safari Rally? Corner Baridi wasn’t just famous for its temperature drop, its hairpin like meander in the road is reputable from the days of the world famous Safari Rally.
The Nguruman Escarpment forms the south-western boundary of the The Great Rift Valley located very close to the Tanzanian border. The drive to Nguruman was about 3-4 hours. It takes you past the landscapes of Ngong Hills, a stunning descent through The Great Rift Valley. After taking a right through the TATA soda factory, over the pink-hued Lake Magadi, we had a bumpy drive through the semi-arid plains that are home to the Masaai.
Rolling hills surrounding us, acacia trees forming umbrella shapes in the distance, Masaai draped in their unique shukas and jewellery herding their cattle, *sigh* it really does bring you back to a time before we were surrounded by a concrete jungle and makes you fall in love with our beautiful country all over again.
After a dusty and rocky drive, we met Joseph, he’s the main contact point for people who want to stay or visit Nguruman. He initially showed us a shaded campsite which we realised was pretty far from the river so we asked for an alternative. After speaking to the owner of another plot of land, Joseph led us to a spot shaded by acacia trees and literally a stone throw away from the Southern Ewaso Ng’iro river! When you’re camping in temperatures which are at least 35 degrees, you honestly want a campsite near a body of water to cool off.
After munching away on a light lunch, we spent most of the day floating in the river while sipping away on beer, it really was heavenly! Bellies full of cheese, crackers, pita bread, hummus and A LOT of beer, the heat of the day took a toll on most of us as we nodded off for afternoon siestas. We woke up just in time to watch the sun set behind the Nguruman Escarpment.
Usually when we go camping our go to grill meat is Peri Peri lamb chops from Prime Cuts. Whatever they put in that marinade is just too dope! Dip that lamb in some mint sauce, squeeze some lemon on top, LAWD it’s some serious food porn. We also grilled some Nyundu (beef hump), Chicken Tikka, Paneer and Sirimon Cheese halloumi burgers. Nothing like having a belly full of food, the sound of the Southern Ewaso Ng’iro flowing and being out in nature.
Tip – there are Baboons around so make sure you pack away all your food before you turn in.
You would assume that once the sun has set the temperatures would drop, oh boy were we wrong! The heat was so real we ended up sleeping by 10 pm. Instead of sleeping in a tent we laid our mattresses on a roof rack, to be honest, it was a pretty sweet set up! You know you’re in Kenya when you fall asleep to barking troops of Baboons and taunting woops of a Hyena.
We woke up bright and early the next day, made a hearty breakfast and packed up. One of the suggested activities was to do a 6-hour hike through Nguruman Escarpment to a waterfall. LOL as much as I know how rewarding the hike would be, the heat would honestly be way too much to handle!
After we packed up our campsite, we made our way to a stunning viewpoint overlooking Lake Magadi (Cheers to Joseph to showing us the route).
Before heading back to Nairobi, we had a quick lunch at the sports club in Magadi town. We also took a dip in the refreshing pool whilst we waited for our food, it was perfect after a hot camping night in Nguruman.
If you wish to visit this humid and dusty beauty give Joseph a call on +254 715 648192. If you don’t have a tent or a mattress he can organise that for you.
- KSH 1000 pp conservancy fee.
- KSH 700 camping fee.
- KSH 1500 Tent hire with 2 mattresses.
- KSH 500 to hire just the mattress.
Tent and mattress hire are only for those who do not have either of these items. Joseph can organize this for you , he rented the tents from nairobi and the matresses from a campsite nearby.
Despite the heat, Nguruman makes for a lovely place to camp. Just ensure you have enough ice to cool you off!