Lola ya Bonobo Sanctuary, Democratic Republic of Congo

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A while back my family and I were in Kinshasa, DRC for about a month. One of the most memorable experiences while there, was visiting the Bonobo monkey sanctuary.  If I remember correctly, the trip from Kinshasa took over or about an hour (don’t quote me, I don’t remember).

For those who don’t know what the big deal is, let me share some of the things that I learnt during my visit. Firstly, Bonobos are the most endangered great ape and although no one can be sure, there could be as few as 5,000 Bonobos left in the wild. They live only in the Democratic Republic of Congo and are hunted for their meat.

Tickets cost $10, yes, in the DRC, they use the US dollar as well as the Congolese franc. We did our tour of the sanctuary with a larger group. Although the tour was conducted mostly in French, once the guide knew there were non french speakers in the group, he started translating to English as well.

The tour was lengthy, but very nice. I had no idea there was more to Bonobo Monkeys than the monkey lovin’.

 

Fun fact- Bonobos cannot swim. This is one of the reasons that they are found only in the DRC, they can’t cross the great Congo river. Even at the sanctuary, some of the enclosures are surrounded by water bodies rather than fences.

Interestingly, in Bonobo society,the females are in charge….
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The sanctuary is really quite lovely. I think we walked around for about 2 hours, but not once were we ‘bored’, complaining about being tired or hot, it really is a fantastic experience.

 

Towards the end of the tour, the last section is the place where rescued baby Bonobos are kept. Now because they need the maternal touch, there are ladies who work there and each lady has her baby Bonobo to take care of. Once the babies are older and ready to return to the wild, they are re-integrated back into one of the troops.

 

 

The sanctuary is one of the only places that help these endangered beauties. So if you are in the DRC, I urge you to visit. Not only is it an AMAZING experience, but they stand for a worthy cause.

 

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Just chillin’

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For more information visit their website- http://www.lolayabonobo.org/

Camp Carnelley’s, Lake Naivasha

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The campsite overlooking Lake Naivasha

A group of friends and I visited camp Carnelley’s, Naivasha for a 2 day/ 1 night getaway back in December. Our entire group loved it and highly recommend it for groups who are on a reasonable budget, but still want to get away from the city. So here is a little break down of our trip, to help you plan yours 😉

On our way there, we stopped at Buffalo mall in Naivasha to pick up some last minute supplies. They have these horsies (that’s spelled like that on purpose) that even adults are allowed to ride..WOOHOO!!!

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Horse race!

 

Accommodation

We were a relatively large group so the couples took twin rooms (3,000 per night) and the rest of us took a 6 person banda (10,000/- per night). Keep in mind that the prices may or may not change, the prices here are only relevant for the time that our group was there. The twin rooms are located away from the bandas, but not far enough that it’s inconvenient. The Bandas are really great, the one we stayed in had 2 separate bathrooms/toilets at each end, a private garden with a fire pit and a covered outdoor area. The private garden area was a big selling point for us, as we carried all of our own food, drinks and a BBQ. (If you wish to BBQ, get charcoal before you arrive as they don’t sell any at the camp itself)

 

 

 

 

Activities

VOLLEYBALL!!!! they have a volleyball net, a table tennis table and DSTV at the bar so we didn’t miss any premier league action. You do need to carry your own volleyball though.

 

Check out is at around 10 am, but you are allowed to move to the camping ground, so we did. We cleared out our rooms and moved to the campsite where we spent the rest of the day. The lake is right at the camp site, so there are probably water activities that one can do, we however, stuck to the land based activities 😉

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Lake viewing

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The Lakeside

 

Taking a group photo proved to be quite the challenge…

 

 

 

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Our Fantastical Group (Plus the photographer)

 

For more information, visit their website- http://www.campcarnelleys.com/

Breakfast Sub

Ingredients

  • Baguette
  • Eggs
  • Bacon
  • Grated cheese
  • Salt
  • Pepper
  • Chipolatas or regular farmer’s choice sausages

 

Method

1.Fry the bacon until cooked. Fry/scramble the eggs and add salt and pepper. Slice your baguette in half.

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2. Fill the baguette with scrambled eggs, add the bacon on top, add another layer of scrambled eggs and top with grated cheese.

 

3. Put in the oven for 5 minutes at 200 degrees C. Serve with sausages or chipolatas.

 

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Breakfast Sub with Sausages

Home-made Pizza

Pizza is WONDERFUL! If I could, I really would eat pizza every day. Here is a simple pizza recipe that I use:-

Ingredients

  • Store bought Pizza dough (I buy mine at chandarana. A Packet of 4 is under 250 ksh)
  • Crushed garlic
  • Tomato paste
  • Olive oil
  • 1 onion
  • chipolatas
  • minced meat
  • Grated cheese (I like mozzarella)
  • Basil
  • Oregano
  • Royco
  • Salt
  • Pepper

Method

1. Mix 2 teaspoons of tomato paste, 2 teaspoons of crushed garlic, 2 table spoons of olive oil, salt, oregano and basil in a bowl.

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2. Chop up the chipolatas and fry with minced meat until cooked. Add Royco (about a      teaspoon)salt and pepper.

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3. Spread the Pizza sauce on the pizza dough and spread the meat on top.

 

4. Slice the onion into rings and spread them on top of the meat. Sprinkle the grated cheese.

 

5. Bake at 200 degrees for about 5 minutes. Keep an eye on it though, burnt cheese is yucky 😉 …

 

Et Voila…Enjoy!