The world is full of fascinating things and many of us have our final chapter before we get to see some of the most beautiful sceneries nature has to offer. One of these places lies in Kajiado County at a distance of approximately 88 km from Nairobi and 115.6 km by road from Nairobi. This is the home of Lake Magadi which is famously knows as the “pink lake.” The lake is pink in color because the mineral is formed by chemicals such as sodium carbonate leeched by igneous rocks in the volcanic valley and washed down the valley’s walls and carried into the lake’s trough by the hot springs on the edges of the lake. Lake Magadi is a natural resource with wonders of its own. Any Kenyan citizen was taught about it somewhere in their school years. It is one of the biggest treasures Kenya has given that it is responsible for the salt sold in the Kenyan market.
As you approach the Lake, a semi-arid atmosphere immediately captures your curiosity. Kajiado county is predominantly occupied by the Maasai tribe which is why you will get glimpses of large herds of cattle, small mud houses made mostly from cow dung known as the “Manyatta” and a red like “leso” or “kanga” for a lack of a better word worn by the residents there. The scenery is just mesmerizing on its own.
Ever been to an area where…
There is a lake that has salt residues instead of water,
The lake is pink instead of colorless, brown, green or blue,
The sun is too hot that it gets rid of vegetation,
Access to clean water is a luxury and not a usual,
Access to social amenities is foreign rather than the norm,
Farm land is a mere dream rather than a reality,
Trees are a unique phenomenon rather than ordinary,
Trona is within your view no matter what direction you turn,
Nature is crafted like the perfect masterpiece,
Then Lake Magadi is the place you need to be to see all this.
A drive through Lake Magadi left me in awe. Everything that the light touched just brought out the perfection of mother nature and the entire trip just left me in a trance. We had a mini hike across the bare land as we got a brief explanation on the concerns of the drying lake that may lead to its extinction come the next 20 years if proper environmental conservation isn’t done. My heart sunk because I just imagined what would happen to future generations in case these resource becomes extinct like the dinosaurs.
Lake Magadi is virtually a continuous massive plain with several Trona sites scattered across the lake. Every direction you turn you just see fields of Trona all over and dusty roads on either side. You will only spot a few settlements as you get into the gate which predominantly belong to the rangers. A few distances apart you may locate a few “manyattas” here and there which belong to the maasai. You will also see children playing around without a worry in the world because this is the life they are accustomed to. The beauty of Magadi can only be embraced in person because no words can create the perfect image of the dumbfounding elegance of the lake and its environs.
However, there were some light, enjoyable moments that made the trip worthwhile.
One of them being having a swim in the Magadi hot springs for some rejuvenating skin cleansing and healing. The best bit of the whole situation was the dry patches left on one’s skin after dipping in the salty water. The water was generally warm and hot in some instances. It left like being thrown in a boiling pot of water. Several members of the group were courageous enough to get into the water while the rest stood by the sidelines watching what was unfolding right before their eyes. It was like seeing the spark of a tiny star igniting the plains because the whole affair brought the entire place to life.
Picture a glimmering lake at the background, a mountain top, a sun that dominates the environment and imagine what you would wish for….
As we did our small hike, unknown to us was that romance was brewing in the air and for one couple in the group this was not just a trip but a day to retain in their memory book forever. It would be a day where the memory would sneak down their eyes and roll down their cheeks. Truth be told sometimes one never knows the true value of a moment until it becomes a memory. Alex, the co-founder of Kibaria and the trip coordinator took aside the lucky lady and distracted her with the view of the lake and some very captivating photos.
Four selected ladies walked behind the lady and right next to the gentleman who wanted to pop the question with lovely carved out cardboards written “WILL YOU MARRY ME?” The rest of the group was standing on the opposite side of the couple and you could hear murmurs and a lot of excitement accompanied by so many “aaaawwwwsss” most especially from the beautiful ladies in the group. The bride to be seemed to be lost in thought and a bit mind blown as the groom to be went down on one knee to pop the question. She seemed to be both out of breath as she was barely able to let out a clear “YES.” The rest of the group cheered for the couple and congratulatory messages, hugs and greetings started being showered all around. The beautiful couple enjoyed the non-erasable moment with their beautiful daughter.
For a moment …
I felt like I would go to my own sun,
And if I was burned by its fire,
I would fly on scorched wings.
The groom to be kissed his fiancée’s lips like they were air and he couldn’t breathe. The bride to be reciprocated by glaring right into her fiancée’s eyes like she was addicted to him and had tasted his mind and she could not forget his flavor. They smiled lovingly at each other and you could clearly feel the passion between them unfold and a brush of their hands on each other led to the release of a thousand sensations that seduced each of them.
The best kiss is the one that has been exchanged a thousand times between the eyes before it reached the lips because one day you will kiss someone you can’t breathe without and find that breath is of little consequence.
For a brief second, I forgot I was in Lake Magadi because I was exhilarated by what had just unfolded before my eyes. It is amazing to see a young couple walk towards their life of marriage and even entertain the thought of having each other as life partners. With their beautiful daughter watching her parents make the decision to unite and raise her, all I can do is wish the couple the best in their new chapter in life.
CONGRATULATIONS JANERITTAH AND LORDIN!
May you have a blissful and blessed union.
All in all, Kibaria Travel was at the top of its game in this particular trip. After the proposal there was a brief photo shoot moment as we headed to have lunch somewhere in the middle of the lake. There was a short shrubby tree where the lunch had been put awaiting our arrival for some very serious munching. Our tongues were salivating as we crossed a small section of the lake on foot towards the location where lunch had been preserved. The walk was a challenge on its own given the slippery nature of the rocks in the water and the fear of falling into a deeper part of the lake if one wasn’t careful. The water was soothing as it was mildly warm and it felt like one was soaking their legs in a jacuzzi. When you get to the other side you had to balance yourself as you walk through the dry sandy soil which opened the way to the “picnic site” of sorts. We had nyama choma, ugali and kachumbari prepared in the traditional maasai way accompanied by a cup of soup mixed with goat blood for those who wanted to indulge. To experience the true maasai culture, we ate while standing on our own two feet with ugali on one hand and the nyama choma on the other. The meal was totally traditional given there were no plates to even put the meal in. If you want to experience raw culture, then a trip to lake Magadi organized by Kibaria Travel may just be what you need.
After lunch we headed to the Magadi resort for a self-sponsored swimming session. This might have been the best moment yet given that walking and standing in the scorching sun had not only made us sweat loads of bucket but also be covered in dust while also thoroughly having weird patches of dry skin from swimming in the Magadi hot springs. We had some fun in the pool with brief photo sessions for about an hour then departed for Nairobi.
Overall I had a great time and I really look forward to my next trip. I yearn to see many more places like how a drowning person yearns for air.
So much of who we are is where we have been because in the end, you won’t remember the time you spent working in the office but rather the moments that truly took your breath away because to travel is to take a journey into yourself.
Copyrights © 2020 Eva Mwangi