Earth Finds

Earth Finds

Getting Acquainted With Nairobi

Whispers about realisation of Julius Nyerere’s East African integration dream into one borderless region, are making rounds in our country - Uganda. The concept of freely traveling through Kenya, Uganda, Rwanda, Burundi and Tanzania the way you travel from Kampala into another district without a stopover for visa-checks and approvals is definitely tantalizing.

What best way to enjoy this freedom but by learning more about these East African countries? A lot of the region’s citizens have not gone past the borders of their home country, yet it is not expensive to.

A good example would be when traveling from Uganda to Kenya; a bus from Kampala to Nairobi is estimated at UGX 80,000/- and you pay the same pricing coming back depending on what bus you use. If you are a first timer in Nairobi and want to enjoy the city as much as you can, what do you do?

First off, if you plan on having a busy day 1 in Nairobi, it is important that you book your accommodation prior. For a seamless experience, it is best to book online with platforms such as Jumia Travel or if you have family in the city, plan with them for accommodation, not forgetting to organize for bus station pickup. Catch the evening bus at 7pm which will reach Nairobi at an estimated time of 6am the following day.

After a few hours of well deserved rest, start off your itinerary, having planned on what you will be doing for your holiday in Nairobi.

Get Acquainted

It is always best to learn more about your new environment, to make it easy for you to access the city. Learn some of the best footpaths you can use back to your hotel or home. If you will be using public transport; note that buses are the best mode of transportation since boda bodas (motorcycles) are not allowed in the Central Business District, which has helped decongest the city though you might find them along the roads.

Look around to know the city streets and where they lead to, which is best done on foot with a guide. The city usually has citywalk tours conducted daily to help first time visitors get acquainted with Nairobi; join them and bring a camera along.

Nairobi National Park

Known as the ‘World’s Wildlife Capital’ Nairobi rules with the serene beauty bestowed by the Nairobi National Park, which lies in the backdrop of the city’s iconic scrapers; bringing a sense of wild beauty to Nairobi.

The Park is home to a variety of wildlife that include; leopards, rhinos, giraffes, cheetahs among many others. There are buses that take the route leading to the park so it is not hard for you to access it. You can also have the hotel help find you a guide to ease your exploration.


Slum tourism has risen higher than anticipated around the world and there’s no better way to see it first hand than visiting one of Africa’s largest slums located in Kenya. Just right out of the city centre, you will find Kibera with so many shanty makeshift homes for thousands of people who call it home.

Nairobi is a metropolis growing at a very fast rate and with that comes many cons to it, which will always include areas like slums no matter how much effort the concerned authorities make to create cheaper housing. It is best to have a guide with you and carry nothing that can be easily snatched off from you.

Carnivore Langata

Why move all the way from Uganda and not pass by one of the largest open air restaurants in Kenya? The Carnivore, as its name states, would not be good for you if you are a vegetarian, since all you will find is meat and more meat. The most intriguing would be crocodile meat which most people are quite curious about, they serve game meats including ostrich and buffalo. These exotic delicacies might take a little by an estimate of 60, 000 UGX but then again, nothing worth experiencing comes easy.

The Nightlife

Day five in Nairobi should be when you rest up and get ready for a wonderful night ahead, our neighbours next door are as hyped about their nightlife as Ugandans are, so expect an array of nightclubs to choose from or maybe head straight to a bar near you and sip a cold beer or two.

The most common places include: Havana, Club Cubano, Klub House, K1, New Florida Club, Pavement among many others. You will find the clubs setting similar to those in Kampala, with DJs mixing music and drinks flowing through the night depending on how much money you have. You are advised to carry a copy of your passport just in case of any emergencies. 

Shopping At The Maasai Market

If you are looking for unique statement pieces made by local artists, do not go further than the Maasai market and no, it is not run by the Maasai tribe. You will find different craft pieces and if you have a knack for languages; make sure to speak in Kiswahili or the prices will automatically hike up. Bargain as hard as you always do in Luganda and make sure to not easily part with your money before examining the merchandise properly. 

Nairobi is a buzzing city that you will need to visit more than twice to get the full feel of it. It grows by the day and you cannot exhaust it in a week; there are restaurants to visit, parks to walk through and people to meet. 

About Jumia Travel is Africa's No.1 hotel booking website, allowing you to get the best prices for more than 25,000 hotels in Africa and more than 200,000 hotels around the world. Our ambition is to bring every bit of available accommodation online, and to create the easiest and cheapest way for customers to book it.

At Jumia Travel, we have hundreds of travel specialists constantly in touch with our customers. Our offices are located in Lagos (Nigeria), Accra (Ghana), Dakar (Senegal), Abidjan (Ivory Coast), Algiers (Algeria), Douala (Cameroon), Kampala (Uganda), Dar Es Salaam (Tanzania), Nairobi (Kenya), Addis Ababa (Ethiopia), Porto (Portugal) and Paris (France).

Before June 2016, Jumia Travel was known as Jovago. Jumia Travel was founded in 2013 by Jumia and is backed by MTN, Rocket Internet, Millicom, Orange, Axa and financial partners.


Tullow Reach Exploration Agreement With Kenya

Oil and gas Exploration Company Tullow Oil has said it has extended exploration period for Blocks 10BB and 13T in South Lokichar to 18 September 2020 after successful talks with the government of Kenya, oil in Kenya news website reported on Wednesday.

The website noted the mandate for Tullow to run the mentioned blocks was set to expire in July and September 2017. Tullow expects to restart drilling activities in the South Lokichar basin in the fourth quarter of 2016 with Etete and Erut prospects in the Etom Complex first on the line.

These are two of the four wells expected to be drilled in the South Lokichar basin starting Q4 and the potential to extend this by a further four wells. Other potential prospects in the programme include further appraisal of the Ngamia and Amosing fields to target un-drilled volumes, with an aim of extending the size of these existing discoveries.

On the crude oil pipeline from South Lokichar to the port of Lamu the Irish Explorer says a Joint Development Agreement is currently being progressed and is expected to be signed by the end of August 2016. In the second half of 2016, Tullow adds it intends to continue to progress the technical, environmental and social studies and to conduct tenders required to proceed to FEED for both the upstream and pipeline projects.

Surveys On Blocks 12A, 12B

Full-Tensor Gravity (FTG) surveys have commenced over Block 12B in the Nyanza Graben and Block 12A over the Kerio Basin. The survey over Block 12B is expected to help gain further data on this prospective area where the operator Tullow Oil and Swala Energy have until 16th of August 2017 within which to drill the 12B exploration well.

The FTG survey follows the approval of a new work programme submitted by the explorers involving carrying out a Full-Tensor Gravity (“FTG”) Survey over the block to optimise the location of the exploration well and thereby maximise its chances of success in March 2016.

As per the earlier announcement by the joint venture FTG work would be carried out in conjunction with reprocessing of the 2014 seismic to improve the character of the sediment fill below the basalts, as demonstrated by Swala’s work late last year.

Earlier work identified the Ahero “A” prospect located on the northern margin of the Nyanza Graben and transected by five seismic lines as the first major structure that could potentially trap any migrating hydrocarbons from the basin. The Ahero Lead A prospect has a 10.9mmstb estimate and an estimated 10 percent chance of success.

In Block 12A the Full-Tensor Gravity (FTG) survey is expected to provide further data on this prospective area where the operator Tullow Oil and partners Africa Oil, Delonex Energy and Maersk Oil earlier in the year drilled  the basin opening Cheptuket-1 well in the Kerio Valley Basin. The operator reported that the well encountered good oil shows, seen in cuttings and rotary sidewall cores, across an interval of over 700 metres and post-well analysis is still in progress.



Mount Elgon: Exploring The Giant Of The East

As you approach Mbale district in the East of Uganda, you will see across in the distance a looming dark object covered by mist or scattered clouds. The object magnifies when you get to Mbale, standing in all its glory as a guardian angel watching over the quaint town and its people.

Mount Elgon or Masaba, has one of the world’s largest intact caldera and with an estimated elevation of 10,070 ft above sea level, the highest known peak is called Wagagai. The extinct volcano is estimated to be over 24 million years old and sits on the border between Uganda and Kenya, with the largest portion being found in the former. 

The Uganda Wildlife Authority page explains that Mount Elgon was built up from lava debris that blew out from an enlarged volcanic vent during the pliocene epoch or system of rocks deposited. The mountain’s geological formation is dominated by basaltic materials and is a number of weathered granite at the basement complex.

It is reported that carbonatite intrusions on the lower slopes after causing fenitization of the granites, rendered them sensitive to the instability on the slopes. The climate around Mount Elgon can be classified as generally rainy, with the occasional months of sunny weather through the year. 

Mount Elgon is one of the oldest physical features in Uganda and is home to over four tribes including those from Kenya. However in Uganda, it is most known for being the home of the Bagisu, a bantu tribe that occupies most of the slopes of the mountain.

The slopes of Mountain Elgon have fertile soils that have been used to grow some of the best coffee in the world, Arabica. The slopes are also conducive for yams, cassava, bananas, beans and maize among other perennial foods that can be easily sustained in the area by the farmers. 

The mountain is also home to the Mount Elgon National Park that is managed by the Uganda Wildlife Authority for the government of Uganda. The park covers stretches over into Kenya and is home to different animals including the red-tailed monkeys, elephants and buffalos which can mostly be seen at the slopes of the mountains.

Within the park you will find over 300 species of birds that migrate through the region, including those native to the country; some of the birds are said to be endangered species. A list that any ardent birdwatcher would not pass up on. 

Though not well known in the country, the Mount Elgon National Park is open all year round and has been attracting several hikers trying their luck at scaling their way to the Wagagai summit. The region has so much tourism potential for the country; you can explore several caves on the hiking trail such as the crystalline walled Kitum cave and enjoy the beautiful views at the Endebess escarpment, which includes several of the rivers in the region (River Manafwa, Kufu) and the gorges.

There are forest walks organised by the Uganda Wildlife officials to show visitors some of the different species of vegetation in the forests which include bamboo trees, mahogany, eucalyptus, pine scattered through the park and the slopes of the mountain. 

Apart from the thick vegetation being home to the birds and small animals, it is home to different rare species of butterflies that can be viewed in the area during the walks.

One of the most beautiful views from the mountain are the falls; Sipi, Simu and Sisi falls that cascade from the rocks and create a   of water and light. Located in Kapchwora, the Sipi falls are the most visited in the area and are worthy adding on your tour itinerary when exploring the Elgon. 

The areas around the mountain are slowed down by the poor road development that could easily improve on the traffic and few good travel lodges as compared to Western Uganda that has many lodges in the parks.

Alot more effort needs to be put on promoting the tourism potential of Eastern Uganda for the region to become a budding tourist hub; the same way the West is promoted. This will help improve returns on tourism in the country.

Even so, the areas below the slopes such as Mbale have good accommodation such as hotels, lodges and hostels that travellers can stay in to prepare and rest up after they have had a wonderful day up at the mountain. 

This article was written Jumia Travel

 About Jumia Travel is Africa's No.1 hotel booking website, allowing you to get the best prices for more than 25,000 hotels in Africa and more than 200,000 hotels around the world. Our ambition is to bring every bit of available accommodation online, and to create the easiest and cheapest way for customers to book it.

At Jumia Travel, we have hundreds of travel specialists constantly in touch with our customers. Our offices are located in Lagos (Nigeria), Accra (Ghana), Dakar (Senegal), Abidjan (Ivory Coast), Algiers (Algeria), Douala (Cameroon), Kampala (Uganda), Dar Es Salaam (Tanzania), Nairobi (Kenya), Addis Ababa (Ethiopia), Porto (Portugal) and Paris (France).

Before June 2016, Jumia Travel was known as Jovago. Jumia Travel was founded in 2013 by Jumia and is backed by MTN, Rocket Internet, Millicom, Orange, Axa and financial partners.




When the light hits the water at a certain point in the day creating a beautiful array of lights

Jumia Named Among MIT’s 50 Smartest Companies

Jumia Group has been named as the only Africa-focused company to make the World's Top 50 Smartest Companies list (2016), published by the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT). The announcement comes shortly after Jumia Group (formerly known as Africa Internet Group) earned the impressive title of ‘Africa’s First Unicorn’.

MIT mentioned, among other credits, the company’s flagship project ‘Jumia’ - Africa’s biggest online shopping mall - and it’s online booking portal ‘Jumia Travel’ as the continent's leaders in their respective sectors.

“Jumia Group is proud to be on this list, as it is great testimony to our relentless efforts in tapping into, and bringing to full the potential in Africa’s digital market” said Sacha Poignonnec, co-founder of the company. “We are committed to filling the gaps in this massively growing economy through technology; we believe that for every challenge encountered therein lies an opportunity”.

Ranked at number 47, Jumia joins an exclusive list of iconic companies including: Microsoft; Facebook; Chinese eCommerce giant Alibaba; and the world's leading automobile manufacturer Toyota. "This list draws a lot of attention to what new age companies are doing to capitalise on the digital possibilities brought forth by the Internet. We chose to focus on Africa as the leading digital frontier," Paul Midy, the CEO for Jumia Travel said.

MIT Smartest Companies was first published in 2010 under the title, Most Innovative Companies. This year’s list mainly spread between Biotech, Computing & Telecommunication, Transportation and Internet & Digital Media.

About Jumia

Jumia aims to create a connected digital Africa to improve people’s lives on the continent, thanks to the Internet. Jumia’s mission is to connect African consumers and entrepreneurs to do better business together. Founded in 2012, with a presence all over Africa, the group has MTN, Rocket Internet, Millicom, Orange and Axa as investors. Jumia has created a sustainable ecosystem of digital services, namedly: Jumia, Jumia Market, Jumia Travel, Jumia Food, Jumia Deals, Jumia House, Jumia Jobs, Jumia Car, Jumia Services.

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