Whenever I go camping, I do it to get away from my already busy life and get some peace and quiet out in nature. That always works. In fact, I find that it has been the best way to replenish myself when all my energy is drained. For such camping getaways, I will typically do it alone then, if I am lucky, I make friends at the campsite. Always nice to make new friends at camp.
So last weekend, when my cousins suggested that we camp, I was a bit hesitant because I already expected it to be wild but also because I didn’t have a say in this camping agenda. But I had had a busy week, and well, a night at camp couldn’t harm. Also, I had missed camping.
Most people think uncomfortable sleeping conditions, brutal insects, and rugged environs when they hear camping, but I always think – nature! Nature always has and will always be my driving force for any hike, backpacking, mountaineering, and camping plans. It is the opportunity to be out in the wild that gives me the desire to want to sleep under the moon and stars.
Jagwani Camp in Sagana, is nothing like my former campsites. This one was a riverfront campsite. I have to say, however, the river is the main essence of the camp. You head down a huge flight of stairs on your way to the campsite. I remember thinking to myself – “Damn! I am going to have to climb all the way up tomorrow, huh?” They were a lot of stairs. The thrill of going down those stairs is the view of the Sagana river branching into three waterfalls into the campsite.
The throbbing, loud, forceful waterfall all seemed to sing to the same tune but with different velocities. When I arrived, my cousins were already rafting in the river. Thanks to my hydrophobia, that wasn’t something I wanted to partake in.
This was my only chance to have some quiet time and finish reading my book before the chaos came swimming off the water. I use those terms because my cousins are wild. Real wild, you never have a polite hang out with them. I guess that is part of the thrill every time we meet up.
I woke up to a book – A Doll’s House. I was to read it for work, and my intention was to read it in a day. I woke up early and read the first act in bed, read the second act in the matatu as I headed to Sagana, and luckily, I managed to finish the entire book within an hour of sitting alone in the camp by the river.
Reading by the river is calming. It is sometimes distracting because you just can’t help but pay attention to the waterfalls, how the sunlight bounces off the water, and the ducks swimming in water, but mostly, it is calming. It almost enhances the experience of reading by the river because the wind and air near the river is crisp and fresh, the sounds are melodious, and the temperatures are just right.
An intriguing book, a cold beer, the sound of the waterfall, and trees around – a girl was home! That kind of solitude has a way of saving you from weeks or months of pent-up lousy energy. It has a way of freeing that energy and turning into an ambiance of silence meant to heal the soul.
It took precisely 2hrs of alone time, and then the concept was gone from me. My cousins were off the water and ready to drink. Drinking in camps is always different from clubbing or house drinking.
In most cases, if your company doesn’t enjoy camping, and my cousins don’t, they will only drink to blackout so they won’t have to enjoy the “agony” of sleeping in a tent. But when your company enjoys camping, then drinking is often polite and only to make the bonfire even more enticing. You share stories of hikes and outdoor experiences over the occasional sip of drinks, but all the concentration on the bonfire.
This case was all about drinking and having good times with people you value, and nothing about listening to the river at night or enjoying the moon, which was beautifully out. However, thanks to the communal bonfire the campsite had set up at a central ground for everyone who was camping, the night was still one to remember – if you still had all your memory.
I made a friend, I called him Tushi. Tushi, a lovely white with brown spots dog that stuck by my side the whole time I was around the bonfire. Petting him even when I was feeling hazy made me feel like I was connecting with something more. Even so, I enjoyed all the stories, laughter, and sheers to what has been one of the most confusing years.
It was different for me, but it was also what I needed at the time. A wild camping experience for just a night. The only difference is, I felt the effects of that night at camp all the way through Monday. I would probably say a lot more about the experience, but I don’t remember much why I coined it a wild camping night because I actually never forget my camping escapades, but this one is hazy.
The morning consisted of beautiful “what happened last night” stories and a hefty breakfast by the campsite. We shared our thoughts about the campsite. And here’s the thing; for just Ksh.2000, Jagwani camp provides you one 4-man tent, a well-made sleeping mattress, warm beddings, and breakfast. However, if you don’t prefer B&B, you have the option of paying Ksh.1500 and opting out of breakfast. But – I recommend their breakfast option; their breakfast is totally worth it!
They have other tent options as well as luxurious tented cottages; visit their website for the prices. You can also take a nature walk, boat, raft, or fish for an added cost. If you are not that intimate with water, then carry your book and read by the beautiful Sagana river.