Island life at Mfangano Island Camp in Lake Victoria

Mfangano Island Camp

Those of you who follow me on social media know that we just got back from the most amazing trip to Mfangano Island Camp in Lake Victoria. We spent three days by the lake, enjoying the waves, the breeze, and getting into island life. (Claire has started calling herself “Lake Girl.” Ha!) Here are some photos, if you’d like to see…

Mfangano Island Mfangano Island Mfangano Island Mfangano Island

Claire and Heidi loved the boat ride across the lake to Mfangano Island. En route, we saw loads of birds, fishermen, and a glimpse of daily life for the inhabitants of the island. The girls took turns “driving” the boat (thanks, Captain Michael!), and an hour later we pulled up to the jetty at Mfangano Island Camp.

Mfangano Island Mfangano IslandMfangano Island

The camp itself is incredibly charming. The cottages are romantic, beautifully-conceived, and designed to blend in with the flora on the island. There are nine cottages scattered throughout the property, all with lake views, and all surrounded by mature trees and gardens.

Mfangano IslandMfangano IslandMfangano Island

We stayed in the honeymoon suite (!!!), a cottage built on a massive lakeside boulder. From my bed, I had a sensational 180 degree open-air view of the lake. (The girls wanted my bed – hah!) The truly special thing about our cottage was the bathroom, with its sunken bathtub and panoramic view. The kids enjoyed a warm bath each day after swimming, and this was actually one of the highlights of the trip for them!

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The days were super chill and relaxing. While the girls played along the shore, looking for treasures, I gazed at the lake and enjoyed the quiet time. I came home with a bag full of seashells, rocks, and sea glass that they found along the beach!

Mfangano Island

The food was incredible, and we ate our weight in homemade goodies from Mfangano’s garden. (The sweet chili sauce is delicious, but beware, it’s heat level 100!) The chef was also really open to catering for the kids, making homemade fish fingers, burgers, and fries for them as well.

Mfangano Island Mfangano Island Mfangano Island

We finished each day by watching the awe-inspiring sunset over the lake, and falling asleep to the sounds of the waves splashing up against the rocks. My kids have never slept better – the lake is the best white noise ever! I even watched some Downton Abbey on my laptop after the kids went to bed, and they never heard a thing…

Mfangano Island Mfangano Island

On our last day, we paid a visit to Mfangano’s permaculture garden, which even includes a budding fish farm. I was so inspired by some of their space-saving techniques, and I can’t wait to put them to use in our own backyard garden!

Mfangano Island Mfangano Island Mfangano Island

On our way back to the mainland, we made a trip around Bird Island, known for (you guessed it) its abundance of birds. We spied egrets, cormorants, kingfishers, herons, and more. (And the kids loved the gigantic iguana-like lizards sunbathing on the rocks!)

Mfangano Island

Mfangano Island, we miss you already, and can’t wait for our next visit!

Governor’s Camp offered me free accommodation for this trip, and no additional compensation. I have written my honest opinion about our experiences during our stay, and all words are my own. Thanks to my friend Ariana and the whole team at Mfangano Island Camp for an unforgettable trip! 

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Great camping hack for kids – a bucket and rope!

Bucket and rope

When camping, I usually pack a bin with a few crayons and coloring books in case the kids need some activities beyond climbing rocks, hiking, and running around in the long grass. On our last trip, I decided to also bring a bucket and some rope. I wasn’t sure whether the kids would be into it, but it turns out this was the best camping activity ever! Continue reading

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Rhino Charge 2017: Adventuring in the north Kenyan bush

Rhino Charge

As you guys know, a couple of weeks ago we participated in the Rhino Charge, a charitable race that supports the conservation and protection of Kenya’s wildlife and mountain range ecosystems. This year, chargers raised a staggering 153 million shillings ($1.5 million dollars) to support Rhino Ark Trust’s conservation works, and a further 4.4 million shillings ($44,000 dollars) to support the Songa Community Conservancy. Jesse fulfilled a lifelong dream as a runner for Car 51, The DeRanged Rovers, and the Rhino Charge was raging success! Continue reading

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Happy birthday, Claire!

Happy birthday to this sweet, smart, sassy girl – Claire turns 6 today! We will be celebrating out in the bush, at the Rhino Charge. We got her a new board game and two new books for her birthday – I hope she loves them! Continue reading

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This is how messy my life is right now…

messy

Sometimes life gets messy. It just wasn’t my day. First, I baked Claire’s birthday cake, and it broke apart when I tried to pop it out of the pan. (Yes, ANOTHER cake fail.) Later, I was making of my kids’ favorite dinners – Thai peanut pasta. It’s easy, they love it, it has broccoli. Wins all around. In the midst of cooking, I ran out of soy sauce. I got a new bottle from the pantry, but…. something was wrong. The soy sauce was thick and viscous, like tar. I thought, well, how bad can it be?

Bad. It can be bad. Like really bad. You don’t even want to know. Continue reading

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Kids craft: crayon watercolor resist

Crayon watercolor resist

We’ve been getting really into watercolor painting in our house recently. The kids love painting, and we used to use mostly tempera paints and our trusty easel. But tempera requires quite a bit of supervision, especially with Heidi, who tends to accidentally flick paint on walls and furniture! The watercolors give the girls all the fun of painting, with much less concern about permanent mess in the house! Continue reading

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The Rhino Charge: an over-the-top race for a good cause

Rhino Charge

This year, Jesse will be participating in the Rhino Charge, Kenya’s annual 4×4 off-road race. The race raises awareness and funds to protect the rhino population in the Aberdare National Park, along with Kenya’s mountain range ecosystems, which provide water for over 2 million people as well as a significant portion of Kenya’s electricity. Continue reading

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Camping in the spectacular Chyulu Hills

Chyulu Hills

The Chyulu Hills have long been on my list. I was inspired months ago after having read a post by The Kenyan Camper, and this weekend we finally made it! We had always been put off by the long drive, but Heidi’s getting older, and we thought with the extra long Easter weekend, it was a good time to give it a try. Continue reading

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The BEST detangling brush

best detangling brush

I was talking to my hairdresser the other day about detangling the girls’ curls, and she recommended this special detangling brush. At first, I told her I don’t really believe in brushes for curly hair. In my experience, they just turn curls into a giant frizzy bush! She insisted, this brush was different. Continue reading

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Arts and crafts to keep us busy over school break

Arts and Crafts time

Ahhhh, school break has arrived. At first, I will love the lazy mornings – no need to pack backpacks, or to rush around getting everyone ready, or to dash out the door to get to school on time. What a luxury! But after a day or two of having both kids at home all day, we will all start to go stir crazy, and we will need some special activities to keep us all sane. We’ve always bumped up our arts and crafts activities during the school break, and the kids love it. Continue reading

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