This year, I have been challenging myself to do ridiculous/hard things. I love a challenge because of the feeling of achievement after conquering it. I was on a mission to do some form of budget travel. I hit up my friend & photographer because I wanted to cover it on my blog and we decided to challenge ourselves.
On a normal Friday evening, an average 20 something year old will go to the city and catch a drink or two before heading home. My estimation is that you can spend something like 5,000 Kenyan shillings. Why not use the same amount of money and do something that you will enjoy and something that will be beneficial to you? You will exercise, make memories and recharge.
Two people will have a weekend away from the city and we will spend less than Ksh 5000.(Note that this amount is for 2 people). We would cut our costs but we would maximize the activities. Every cost had to be cut to a comfortable amount. The time frame would be two days and one night.
As a budget traveler I have costs divided into three facets. Food & Drink Costs, Accommodation & miscellaneous Costs and Transport Costs. We cut costs everywhere but our main sacrifice was on transport. We were going to an area with ridiculously rough and unpredictable terrain and so we opted for public transport. It was more cheaper and fun. I love food so it was hard to make any changes or budget cuts on the food.
I had heard about Olooseos Adventure and Resort and even read it from a certain blog. In fact, we drew our inspiration from this cool blog and we decided to give it a twist of our own. I called Sophie who is the marketing rep of the place to reserve and she gave us some ideas on what we should do for this trip.
We go for camping because we are a tad tired of the city and are looking for an escape. An adventure. We want to taste food that has been slow cooked on a smoky fire. We want to take a cold shower in a solitary bathroom in the wilderness. We want to watch as the campfire sends sparks and little embers flying through the night sky. We want to hear crickets sounding in the dead of night and watch stars. We want to feel or heart racing when we are in a tent and we hear a weird noise through the bushes at midnight. It’s different, it’s scary and exhilarating- Jean Wandimi.
We left Nairobi CBD at around 11am on Friday and we arrived 2 hours later. We used public transport and we took a 126 in railways. We arrived in Kiserian Town and were packed in a ‘Probox’ with some locals. In fact, in Kiserian most Proboxes are matatus (local Kenyan public transport) & cabs. We only paid 50ksh for a trip to a place called Corner Baridi. We saw a signpost written ‘Olooseos Adventure and Resort 1.3km’. I was looking forward to walking and we hiked slowly under the scorching sun all covered in sweat and dust. For some reason, I did not mind the walk and we arrived at the gate. When you get to the gate you sigh with relief but little do you know that you have to walk downhill for 150 metres. At this point I was too excited to realize how tired I was. We chatted with Bernard who we found at the reception area and he told us what activities we could do. The place was pretty deserted. This was just the environment that can help a person to relax and forget their problems. Most campers came on Saturday.
Here is a summary of how much we spent. Even I couldn’t believe it.
CBD to Kiserian Town-100X2=200Ksh
Kiserian Town to Corner Baridi-50×2=100Ksh
Corner Baridi to Olooseos=0Ksh
Olooseos to Kiserian-100X2=200Ksh
Kiserian to CBD-100X2=200Ksh
Total Transport Cost=700Ksh
FOOD & DRINK COSTS
Food was surprisingly affordable. A kg of meat was 800Ksh and ugali was 50Ksh, fries were 150Ksh. There were other items on the menu with the same affordable prices. On the first day we had fried meat, ugali (maize meal) and sukuma wiki (kale) & Spinach totaling around 1,000 ksh for the both of us and on the second day we had choma and the total was 1,000Ksh for both of us. Breakfast was 300Ksh for both of us. We had coffee in a flask, pancakes, eggs, sausages and fruit. Can you believe it?
I got snacks, fruit, water, whiskey and soda from my kitchen because the place allows you to bring your own food & drinks plus we minimized on the costs.
Total Food Costs- 2,300Ksh
ACCOMMODATION & MISCELLANEOUS COSTS
The tent costs are 750Ksh each for a night. It comes with a tent, mattress and bedding. The costs are lower if you carry your own tent and stuff. I leave that for the Glampers (glamorous campers).
Other miscellaneous costs like snacks and toiletries that we bought were 400Ksh. We saved big by getting things from home.
Total Accommodation & miscellaneous costs were 1,500 Ksh.
Out total budget was 4,950Ksh for two people and we had so much fun. We hit our target! There are so many activities to do like biking, taking nature trails, watching the sunset, photography, bbq, bird watching, campfire stories, picnicking, hiking etc. I would suggest to go with a bunch of friends or team building.
Here are a few tips that I could give you if you plan to go on this budget trip.
- Carry comfortable shoes and active gear.
- Carry water & drinks. Carry your own toiletries & slippers/sandals.
- Carry a torch.
- If you plan to to use your car, make sure it can handle off road terrain.
- Make sure you leave all your work so that you can enjoy the serenity. There is little/no cell reception so inform people that you will be offline. There is no wifi. However Airtel works.
- Carry a camera to shoot or record. There are dreamy sunsets and amazing sites.
- Go with a friend or friends. The campsite is very safe but if you are easily scared, it is comforting to know that there are people in other tents.
- Have fun! make the best of the moment and be fully present to enjoy this. Let your cellphone rest for a bit.
- Sneakers & active wear
- Shawl/Scalf/ Shuka.
- Food/snacks/ fruit.
- Game stuff for groups eg. skipping ropes, card games, board games etc.
- Radio, Music etc.
I would love to know what your experience is like. If you have any questions about this budget trip, feel free to comment below.
Photography by Sylar.
Check out the Olooseos website for info & contact details.