Back to Baobabs

Nature can make you feel a bit insignificant at times!
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Its amazing how fear can set in after a few negative press reports. Having begun the journey slightly apprehensive I am glad to report that getting off the plane in Mombasa felt fine despite the recent news of several murders of local police by an extreme separatist group . The traffic as usual felt fairly chaotic but I did not feel unsafe. Kenyans are by nature friendly and peaceful and the violence of previous elections had shocked the local population as much as anyone. The British press seemed unwilling to acknowledge that these elections across Kenya were actually incredibly peaceful despite long frustrating waits for voters at the polling stations.

So K and I were, as it turned out, happy to be back in the heat heading up the coast to Kilifi to reconnect with http://www.wildliving.com/page/ and the mighty Baobab. Business was on our minds but it has to be admitted there were a few plans for walking on the beach, sleeping by the pool and visiting the Turtle Rescue Centre in Watamu (thanks Gladys for letting us help out on a turtle release!)

Anthony, Moses and Sammy at Wild Living were fantastic in helping us to meet up with their top Baobab harvester Changawa. Once we’d worked out how to transport his Baobab catching pole in the car we were away. A lesson in how the oil from the Baobab finds its way into Wild Sensual Body Butter was to follow.

We just had to carry it outside the car in the end!

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Changawa catches hold of the Baobabs and they come crashing down to the ground.

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Then they are chopped and pulled apart and the seeds are embedded in the dry powdery ‘flesh’ of the fruit.

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And here are the seeds all collected ready to be sent to the processor
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A final photo of Changawa – a natural showman!

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Back in Kenya

What a short week that was! You can pack a lot into a week but blimey it tires you out.

We were on a mission to meet some of our suppliers and take as many photos for the website as we could and so as beautiful as the Mnarani Club Hotel at Kilifi is, we just didn’t have enough time to really take up on all that was on offer. For anyone out there who wants a good activity holiday I can guarantee that you’ll have a great time and it really does have one of the most spectacular views of the Indian Ocean I’ve come accross.

So after our long flight via Dusseldorf no less (not to be recommended) we take a day to recover and try and think what we have to do.

One of our key objective is to find some Cape Chestnut trees in flower and as we are on the coast this means we have to head up the Mombasa highway for Nairobi.  We hire a car from Joel who is a cool dude we met on our last trip!

Once we’ve got wheels we begin the drive up north – believe me, this is not for the fainthearted! There are about a million trucks making the same journey, thundering along as fast as they can, overtaking each other on the single lane road. Needless to say we pass several  trucks upended at the side of the road, victims of badly calculated overtaking manoevres.

We arrive in Nairobi, after 10 hours of driving, in the dark, in a torrential thunderstorm with a windscreen wiper that is not up to the job and when we stop to confirm where we are in the city K manages to back into another car. Stressed?? No … of course not.

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