Bismarck Rocks + Isamilo Lodge

10,000 years later this post is finally up. Sorry for keeping you guys waiting and to everyone who reached out to ask about this post, you are all special.

Weeks later ‘Kwetu Mwanza Nyegezi’ is still playing in my head despite this trip been long gone.

Truth be told Safari ya Mwanza was one long trip. Probably the longest roadtrip I have had since I am only used to travelling from Siaya-Nairobi. Hee don’t give me that look I am a small town girl and will always be. This is one of those trips that you will start a relationship with your seatmate have your perfect relationship with arguments once in a while but at the end give each other a shoulder literally because we all need support when we doze off.

Facts about Mwanza

  • Mwanza is a port city on the shore of Lake Victoria. It has a population of about 2.8 million.
  • It’s ringed by green hills. They city is known for unusual rock formations like the Bismarck rocks.
  • Majorly occupied by four tribes; Wasukuma, Wakerewe,Wakara and Wazinza. The Wasukumu dominates the region.
  • Mode of transport; road, rail, water and air.

This was yet another group trip organized be Keitan Safaris. By now you guys know I love group travels one because it saves you money and two if you are lucky you will make one or two friends. For this particular trip we depart from Nairobi on Friday at 7pm, so that we make it to the boarder on time. This was yet another solo trip for me though I knew other people we had met on such trips. I find a seat and this time my seatmate is Kasee a very funny guy whose love for books will leave you admiring how much he knows his writers, books and every other thing he loves.

The whole crew

After few stopovers we pull over at the boarder at around five in the morning and we all head to the immigration office for clearance on both Kenyan and Tanzanian side. We manage to catch a beautiful sunrise too bad it was not photographed due to boarder rules. So that magical sunrise in no man’s land is just stuck somewhere in our minds. How I wish we could be able to make print outs from our brains especially for such amazing brain captures.

Hours later we drive off Sirare border towards Mwanza also known as Rock city. Excitement was clearly kicking in, you could hear people making small talks while some of us just stared out of the window and kept on wondering how a city could have so many rocks. The most interesting thing is that the locals have found a way to build their homes in between those rocks and believe you me they are beautiful homes. Mwanza is approximately six hours from the boarder and since we were adventure seekers we had to find a way of surviving through despite how tired we were. From admiring nature to having conversations with different people on every other thing that can be talked about under the sun. Somehow miracles happened or let’s say having conversations with people will somehow make time move fast.

Bismarck Rock garden.

Do you know that look a little baby will give the mum when she finally comes home after being away for a long time? No you guys don’t see it. Imagine having a plate of your favorite meal after a hunger fest. That was us when we finally got to Mwanza. It was a mixture of excitement, sigh of reliefs and now that we arrived in time for sun downer it was even better.We drive to bismarck rock gardens and dearly beloved neither my mind nor my eyes were ready for the beauty that welcomed us. Green garden somewhere in the park along the shores of the lake was a sight to behold. This park is frequented by locals which makes it even more busier although Bismarck Rock gardens though is a private. It gets its name from the bismarck rocks that you can easily spot in the lake.

Us making sure we strike a pose with Bismarck rocks in view.

Lunch is served and it is a fish party as we try communicating with the locals with our ‘little’ Swahili which we later discovered should only be used to communicate while in Kenya because of how we struggled. We forced Tanzanian accent which ended up coming out in a funny way but we didn’t stop which made the locals have a field day laughing at us. While at Bismark Rock Gardens you can do a boat ride to bismark rocks and get views of a lifetime or even strike poses that could be the beginning of your modelling career.

Vero and I doing the most.
Look at that! Sunset captures with part of the crew.

After perfect sunset shots we leave Bismark for Isamilo Lodge where we spent the night. Remember when I said I was not ready? That is the truth, the rooms are too spacious the staff are really amazing and they patiently answered all our questions. Dinner is later on served by the poolside as others do their photo-shoot. For me this was a perfect night and I couldn’t help but imagine what more Mwanza had to offer because it looked like I was not going to keep up.

Accommodation at Isamilo lodge.

Ever imagined a perfect night? Good music somewhere in the background, star filled sky, good people, innocent giggles with your most favorite drink in hand? That was this particular night. Happiness could be felt as you could hear giggles while others sung along to their favorite songs you’d mistake it for Karaoke night because when we Kenyans arrive then just know we came to conquer.

Meal time at Isamilo
Isamilo lodge by night.

A night is never complete in a new town if you don’t sample their night life and that is exactly what we did. Together with a few friends -aye team kurogwa- we went to get a taste of what Mwanza night life was. This the point we thank heavens for such amazing/energetic souls. Mwanza is that good girl who doesn’t show up at the club early, she has to wait for her parents to go to bed so that she can sneak out and have the time of her life and when Sauti sol said ‘we go and dance the night away’ this is Mwanza, she is that girl. Anyway night life this other side of the world starts after midnight. I know someone is asking how? Hahaha we Kenyans are just party holics. Having done our homework right we end up at Club Galaxy. I still do remember that ride, the driver was excited and talked to us all through in Swahili we barely understood. Who were we, we forced our Swahili accents and it made the conversation even funnier. In my head all I am thinking of is if Tanzanians are usually that friendly. This was up to us to find out I guess.

It was an awesome night and on our way back we found another friendly cab driver and he ended up suggesting places we should visit the next day. We are dropped off at the hotel and we call it a night/morning.

It is now day two, we go for breakfast and head for a morning swim which eventually turned into a pool party. This was it since some of us really needed it having only slept for an hour or so. I remember Winnie, Juelz and I making fun about how we will sleep when we came back to Nairobi just know it was a terrible idea.

A toast to life with Juelz, Kasee and Gaucho
Pool party moments.

It is time to check out from Isamilo lodge and somehow this broke my heart. The staff made us feel so welcomed even though I didn’t understand most of their Swahili words. Also Isamilo lodge is a very beautiful place that I would vouch for any day any time. If you ever find yourself in Mwanza and you need a place to spend a night or two check out this place.

View of Mwanza city from Isamilo
Moments at Isamilo
How about a pose with the hosts.

Next part of this trip is coming up and you can’t afford to miss it. 😊

Photo Credits: Brent Focus and Richard

Till next time, Live, Love, Learn, Travel

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  1. What an insightful and amazing read, the trip was amazing and from your article there is nothing more to add. PS. Thanks for the jumpie photo, i still owe you one.

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