Monday, September 17, 2012

Hidden treasures of Nguruman

By Esther Nanetia

Nguruman, located in Olkiramatian Group Ranch, past Lake Magadi is about 162km southwest of Nairobi. It is administratively run by the new Kajiado County hived from the former populous Rift Valley province. The area is situated at the foot of the Nguruman escarpment and boarders Ewaso Nyiro River to the east.

The plenty supply of water comes from Entasopia, Oloibortoto, Sampu and Ewaso Nyiro rivers which originate from the Mau ranges cutting through the conserved forests of Nguruman escapement as they flow to Lake Natron in Tanzania. Due to sufficient water supply, there is diverse vegetation cover of huge acacia, fig, and cordia seninsis trees among other native species. The under growth consists of bushes and herbs. This has resulted in a distinctive microclimate that brings out a serene natural environment of clean water and air.

The hospitable maa community is the main inhabitants of the area, who are mainly pastoralist while others have adapted to crop farming and retail businesses. The maa community is known for their conservative culture while their simple lifestyle enables them to conserve the environment.

Tourist facilities are rapidly developing in Nguruman. Lodges, camping sites and guest houses are springing up in the area. Sampu lodge, a community lodge in Olkiramatian Conservation, is strategically located on the Sampu hills overlooking the Sampu river where lions and buffalos among other wildlife come to drink, about twenty meters from the tents giving a magnificent view of the conservation area.

Sampu Lodge tented camp. photo by Kelvin Koinet
Oloibortoto centre commonly called Ngomongo hosts two guest houses which are also available in Entasopia centre. These are major services that provide accommodation to tourists visiting the area. Both centres are at the foot of the lush green escarpment providing a panoramic view to the guests.

Four camping sites are available situated in different sides of the area especially along the rivers. They include Cool Waters along Oloibortoto River, Entasopia River camping site, Enkare Ng’iro and Lalenook camping sites. These sites offer quite environment for tourists who wish to interact with nature away from the busy and noisy urban settings. They can also do leisure fishing, swimming and bird shooting. However, permission must be obtained from the relevant authorities to enable one conduct these leisure activities.

Some of the best shots of Loisiijo Camp located along river Ewaso Ngiro.
Photo courtesy of SORALO
Escarpment hiking is also available. This is due to the established hiking tracks in Ilchoroi vicinity. Those hiking usually end up being greeted by the awesome sights of Entasopia Falls. Swimming is also available at the falls.

The Maasai community is rich in culture. This is one of the major tourist attractions. Moran dances and meat camps are some of the regular events found in the area. The mode of dressing characterized by the cladding of beads, red ochre and shuka fascinates tourists. This is coupled with chanting of traditional songs accompanied by sensational jumping with horn blowing. In meat camps, eating of smoked meat and drinking of herbal soup is the main activity that occurs here. Visitors are usually treated with this local cuisine. Notably this is a preserve for men.

Nguruman has a lot of unexplored tourist sites. Those who visit the area will find the place charming and unique.

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