Author: Yellow Duckie
If it was not a dear friend who introduce this place to us, we would have not discovered this treasure trove that served excellent African dishes. I personally would not have gone in by myself as the look the this place itself was not all that inviting.

Situated on Banda Street (close to city market), The Rayan Hotel and Restaurants served a mixture of continental and African cuisines. I was recommended to try the African dishes which was indeed good.

Our personal favourite is the Dailo : Baked young goat. This dish is really delicious with the goat meat baked to perfection, slightly moist and the aromatic of the firewood was simply amazing! At only 400 KSH, this dish can easily served up to 3 people, accompanied with the Pilau rice.
Half portion of the Pilau Rice which comes with a good size chunk of Dailo ~ Easily feed 2 person at only 220 KSH!

Out of curiosity, we actually tried the Alleso : Boiled young goat and to our surprise, there was not a hint of the pungent goat smell which I fear most. The Dailo is still my favorite.

As I mentioned, this place does not look that inviting hence, we always do take-out and enjoy it at the comfort of our home.

Rayan Hotel and Restaurant
Banda Street
Phone: 020 221 5777, 071 328 3660
Author: Yellow Duckie
I have to admit that there are not many resturants in Nairobi that I would crave for however, this particular one had me on my first bite of it's Chooza Chicken.

The heavily spiced and tangy spring chicken is roasted on charcoal fire is simply delicious and I could now seems to get enough of it.

You can eat it with their fluffy naan or chips. It also comes with a complimentary house salad and four types of dressings to go with your chicken! The available dressings as:
~ Chooza chicken sauce
~ Yogurt with Chili
~ Home ground Chili Sauce
~ Tamarind Sauce

To seal off the meal, you HAVE to try the home made Kulfi ice cream, I believe the best in Nairobi!

You can find this delicious meal at Hashmi BBQ in Nakumat Ukay, Westlands, Nairobi.
Contact number: 020 374 8704, 0733 721 786 (M), 0722 487 000 (M), 0722 555 505 (M)

Meal prices are affordable hence you can imagine the crowd they draw...
Author: Yellow Duckie
As per my previous post on the Tipuana trees and the jacarandas, I realized that there is a pink and red tree as well.... it's really amazing! Unfortunately I do not know what they are called, in full bloom they really bring colors to the city!

Author: Yellow Duckie
I am not too sure why I never notice this but the full bloom of the Tipuana trees that is grown all town is an amazing as the effect of the purple Jaracanda trees!

Standing out like bright yellow torches, the flowers of the Tipuana is quite a sight to behold especially when you have a bunch of Tipuana grown closely in a cluster.

Not too sure when is the season where these flower blooms but seems like now is the time....around Summer time in the Southern Hemisphere.
Author: Yellow Duckie
I believe we were not the only ones trying to figure out if we should stick to the Zambia side or visit the falls from the Zimbabwean or just simply do both. My advise is, do both! After all you are already there! As for accommodation, there are more accommodation options available in Zambia in comparison to Zimbabwe.

So which is better? The view from the Zambian side or the Zimbabwean side? I have to admit that I did enjoy both as both has got quite different view to offer.

Personally, I enjoyed the Zimbabwean more as the pathway leading to the view of the fall is a very comfortable stroll (a.k.a flat land no hiking) and you get more of the view of the falls. If you mind being slightly wet, do remember to wear a poncho although many opt to use umbrella than looking like you have just stepped out of the thrash can by having the poncho on in pictures. The spray of the falls actually is quite intense depending on the wind.
Zimbabwe Vic Falls National Park

Zimbabwe Side - A real close view to the bottom of the falls without handrail so please take caution!

As for the Zambia side, you get less view of the fall and the crowd is more on this side hence making it a little unpleasant. However, the view is spectacular on it's own. On this side, the path will also lead to the river bank where you can take a dip by the Zambezi river as you see many of them do but at your own risk.

Pathway along the Zambian side is mostly guarded with handrail given the fact that it is much closer to the fall in comparison to the Zimbabwe side and a reasonable amount of "hiking" to be done on this side.

By the edge- Pathway along the Zambian Side

One bonus point of being on the Zambian side is that you could actually get to the bottom of the falls which is known as the Boiling Point. It is quite a hike and bare in mind, anything that goes down must come up. I must forewarn you that although it is said that you get to the bottom of the falls, you are actually at the bottom but you will not be able to see the falls. However, you have a good view of the bridge.
The Boiling Point
Author: Yellow Duckie
If you are heading to view Vic Falls thinking that it's only the falls that's attractive, you are definitely in for a surprise at the amount of activities they offered to keep you busy! Google and you will find tonne loads of company offering a wide list of activities while you are there...for all "Heart Rate".

There are quite a number of adventurous activities and one must take pre-caution. I did have a list of activities which I have selected to fill our time however, we did all except one, the micro light flight....

I am going to highlight one of the activities we attempted and literally expose our life into the risk of being swept by the current of the falls down into the ravine. Just case you are wondering, no, it's not the microlight flight, it was something more subtle which we did not realize the risked involved until we were there.... it was the Livingstone Island Tour.

The tour is only operated by one company and you better make sure it's them that is taking you them if you opt to swim at the Devil's Pool. One way to tell that it is the right operator is that the tour usually starts off at the Royal Livingstone Hotel ( a 5-star luxury hotel that is quite worth a visit). The tour runs at a scheduled hours and limited amount of people are allowed at one time and tour usually includes breakfast or tea depending on the time you select. Mind you, this tour is only available during summer where the water level is low.

I have seen loads of picture about the Devil's pool and the idea of swimming at the edge of the pool sounds appealing hence I have decided to pick this activity for our little adventure by the falls. Little did I know the danger involved in it. The tour started of with a boat ride to the Livisingstone island, the place where Dr livingstone first set eyes on the fall. Upon arriving the island, you will be led through a path way of white sand surrounded by tall bush grass. Slowly the luxury tents erected for the scrumptious breakfast is revealed, I must admit that it was quite a nice surprise. I thought we were to have a picnic breakfast by the river bank on the ground.

Toilet by the bush with a full view of the Zambezi River - Livingstone Island

The tour itself very interesting, you will be brought close to the edge of the falls and a brief history of Dr Livingstone was told. So far, the trip is still pleasant. Then the exciting part came, for thos we opt to get a dip at the Devil's pool, we will be swimming across the current across to the other side. Yes, swimming the current. Although the water seems to be calm but trust me when you are in it, it's a whole lot of different story all together.
View by the edge of the falls at Livingstone Island

The guide that led us to the devil's pool was professional however, somehow we swam of the course (obviously when you are less than 100 m from the edge of the falls, you tend to swim upstream) and end up in the part where it is deep and not having anything to hold on to. With the gentle current swimming up towards the edge, we got panic. The guide managed to pull together but by that time all the energy was drained from me that I find it difficult to even hold on to the rocks properly. In case you do get wash of by the current just remember they have a rope that you could grab hold of before you get to the edge but in the state of panic, I am not too sure if you could actually reach that "safety" rope.

I was in such a state of shock that when we eventually got to the devil's pool, i gave that a miss and the thought of swimming back to the shore was horrifying. It was such a pity that we did not enjoy the scrumptious 5-star breakfast when we finally made it to the river bank and was in the state of shock for 2 hours! Just glad to be alive!

That's why we decided to cancel the microlight flight and stick to the boring sunset River Cruise along the Zambezi River which by the way includes dinner and free alcohol on board!

This is not to discourage you but just a word of advise on what adventurous activities you decided to embrace.
Author: Yellow Duckie
On our first day in Livingstone, we decided to go over to the Zimbabwean side of the Victoria Falls. Under the scorching heat of the midday sun, we were crazy enough to consider walking across from Zambia to Zimbabwe.

We took a cab from our guest house which is around 7K from the falls to the Zambian border post and it cost us about 50K Zambian Kwacha which is equivalent to around 10 USD.
Zambian Border Post - Exiting Zambia heading towards Zimbabwe

From the Zambia's border post, we took a stroll along what was known as the "No man's land" as we literally left Zambia and it is still quite a distant to the Zimbabwean Border Post. I must admit that although the heat was unbearable, the walk was rewarding. Actually you don't have much of a choice as I don't see any cab around the border post that would take you across to Zimbabwe.

A gentle reminder, if you are returning to Zambia for the night, do ensure you have a double entry visa for your re-entry, that is if you are required to have a visa for entering into Zambia.
View of the Zambian Side of the fall by the bridge

The journey begins... on your left, there is a dock where many daredevils took the plunge from the bridge into the ravine hanging by the rope wrapped around their feet...bungee jump.

As we approach the Zimbabwe side, you can find vendor selling soda and water. Taking picture is is to be done with caution, as of in many African countries. I took a shot of a duka (small shop) with the huge tree next to it and out of a sudden i hear a loud voice calling out to me asking me what I am doing and that I should obviously pay. They were rough... and having been in Africa long enough, i was not threaten by his rowdiness and simply shake it off by saying "Is this how you treat your visitor?" . He mellowed down and eventually walk off, to my relieve that worked.

Upon arriving at the Zimbabwean side, we had to go through the border post (which looks like a run down version of Zambia's) before arriving at the Victoria Falls Park Entrance.

A note to those we need to acquire a visa into Zimbabwe, they charge 100 USD per entry at the border post, hence if you can, try to get the Zimbabwean Embassy in your country instead of at the border post.

If you are too tired to walk back to the Zambia's side, there are alot of cabs available after you exit the Zimbabwean Border Post. Most of them are willing to take you back to the Zambian Border Post at 5 USD (2,500 Kwacha).
Author: Yellow Duckie
For years i have been in Kenya, I never took the effort to visit the famous Coast of Kenya. I have briefly visited the North Coast of Mombasa however it did not really impressed me. I supposed coming from Asian where white sandy beach is abundant, taking a relaxing weekend by the beach was not top of my list of things to do in Africa.

Little did I know that a visit to the South Coast of Mombasa, specifically Diani, could be one of the most relaxing trip I've ever taken. Literally, forgetting all your worries behind with your favourite book in one hand and a pina colada in the other. And the scenery....absolutely gorgeous!

Camel the heard me...camel ride by the beach.....

As recommended, we tried the Baobab Resort, an all inclusive package where all three meals are provided and unlimited flow of beverages and alcohol available throughout the day. Perfect, absolutely perhaps.

There are three hotels in this compound and you have the choice of three hotel's amenities to choose from. What more can you ask for?

However, there is only one annoying custom about this hotel is that for gentlemen, you are NOT allowed to wear shorts for dinner. I mean like who would bring a pair of long pants to a tropical beach vacation where it is more than 30 degree Celsius outside! They are pretty strict about it, so guys, just bring one to so that you can dine in peace.

Souvenir Market

All I could say is that I am glad I did make an effort drop by this place while I am still staying in the continent. It is an absolutely must!