Our trip to Mwea National Reserve turned out long as it was nostalgic. Yeah, don’t look at me that way. There really is a Mwea National Reserve which is located in the heart of Mbeere in Embu county. Beginning our journey at Wang’uru in Mwea, we thought that it would just be a few kilometres. Yeah, that’s me always ‘roho juu’ while hunting new destinations. If I was a Kamba I’d say we thought, ‘no vaa.’ Just like that phrase always turns out, our journey turned out to be one long and adventurous journey. For starters the road is like all other murram roads that end up being called all weather roads. Don’t get fooled though, there are places where the rivers meet the road and the only reason we managed to maneouvre was because it was during the dry season. Now Mbeere county is dry, but you know these seasonal rivers have a history of flashing people downstream when rains in the higher regions cause flash floods. I’m not saying this to scare you though, I haven’t heard someone washed away in these areas, at least not in the recent past. As usual google maps app comes in handy in these my spontaneous trips. She’s a real darling by the way, except when she tells you proceed on Kiritiri road for the next fourteen kilometres and you feel like making that U turn and going back home to sleep. So we thought, it was near, but let me tell you Maina, we went and went and went until I became nostalgic. I almost said we wented 😂😂. Maybe it’s because of the redness of the Mbeere soil that reminds me so much of growing up on the slopes of Mt Kenya, or the long unending journey but my travel back in time is reignited. Its like a dead battery that is jumpstarted suddenly stirring to life and making its engine purr like a fine kitten. You see as I travel to places I also travel back in time. This time I go back to those energetic and youthful days. When as members of the Presbyterian church of East Africa youth team we’d travel far and wide. Back then the parishes were so huge and each month we’d congregate at one of the local churches for our monthly youth fellowship. I wonder where that energy came from because, when I use the word travel, It was neither travel by air,road or in a cruise ship. It was travel on our Feetsubishi. Yeah, the rubber really met the road or should I say footpaths?
Since the journeys were always long and tiring, we always had to carry plenty of energizers which included but were not limited to Mangoes, avocadoes, sugarcanes and bananas. Since we had managed to attack all the sugarcanes in our farm, we had to etch a plan B which included but was not limited to buying cane from neighbours farms. This meant that the young men in the gang were given special assignments which consisted of spying neighbouring farmlands along Gacika stream the night before and bringing the most succulent of the canes. I wonder why they never joined the secret service 😂. We did not shy away from eating the loot because at the alter we’d repent all our sins and we’d be washed as white as snow yet again. God, the things you bear with us🤔🤔
Armed with our energizers, our feet would walk the walk. We’d cross rivers with only logs for bridges, manoeuvre valleys and climb hills to go as far as Maragima on the slopes of Mt Kenya. Lucky we didn’t encounter elephants along the way. On arrival, the morning service would be almost over. We were already starting to feel the pangs of the journey and so instead of joining the others in the service we’d look for a shady tree and cool ourselves. This is where we’d, ‘look at the folks looking back at us, wondering how we’d get back home.’ Unlike Charlie pride in the ‘Mississipi cotton picking delta town, there was no dusty ice cream to munch. By this time we’d be counting the seconds until lunch is served. The energizers only served as appetizers and by now our stomachs were rumbling. That rumbling fever Merle Haggard sings about was ooh so real, except it would be in our stomachs. Eventually the much awaited time was finally here with us. Being outside meant we’d be the first ones on the food queue. The women would serve us Mukimo with much abandon which meant we’d eat to our fill and go for another round if necessary.
Come the time for the afternoon fellowship and the drum would bear the brunt of the energies flowing in our veins. You see those days there were neither pianos nor guitars in the local churches. It was just the grand ol’ ‘ndarama’ helping Africans dance. That coupled with our clapping and and the all so African beat in us we’d summon the heavens and they would come to earth, or maybe we are the one’s who went to heaven for a moment. The only thing that would eventually bring us to earth were the frequent farts as a result of all the ‘mix and match in our tummies.’ Yeah I’m so nostalgic as I remember those days. It reminds me of this song, ‘Gimme that old time religion, it is good enough for me.’
Memories, memories, memories, how we hang on to them. Let’s continue making new ones though.
Here are a few facts about Mwea National Reserve:
The Mwea National Reserve is located within Mbeere District, in Eastern Province, a distance of about 200km from Nairobi. The savannah ecosystem comprises of small hills with bushy vegetation and scattered large trees. Other areas are open grasslands while along the main rivers, large trees with thick undergrowth are found. Trees mainly found within the ecosystem are the different Acacia species and baobab trees. The ecosystem’s main features are the meeting point of rivers Tana and Thiba, Kamburu and Masinga hydro-electric dams, which harbour variety of biodiversity.
Major wildlife attractions include the elephants, Rothschild giraffes, Common zebras, Lesser kudu, Buffalo, Water Buck, Bush buck, Impala, Vervet Monkeys, Aardvark, Yellow baboons, Grants gazelle, Dik dik, Cape hare, Warthog, Black backed jackal, Duiker, Sykes monkeys, Genet cat, Slender mongoose, Stripped ground squirrel, Dwarf mongoose, Crested porcupine, Rock Hyrax, Tree Hyrax and tortoise. Hippos and crocodiles are also found in the dams and rivers. Different birds and reptile species have been recorded in the reserve.
Facts Source:



Published by Nyar Kaheti

Born and raised on the picturesque slopes of Mt Kenya, Nyar Kaheti is your girl next door vibe kind of girl. She enjoys reading, writing, hiking, and listening to country music among other things.

6 thoughts on “Towering

  1. Wao …. Haki you’re a writer. Keep it up. You remind me of Maragima, Gatei, Ngonde, we used to trek. Missions camps seminers and rallies. You forgot that ka 🚛 lorry, Mwinjoyo. Haki I have enjoyed the writing. Be blessed immensely.

  2. My dear thithita chronicles are your portion you may not know until you try. Keep up. Ama niseme CBC way Exceeding Expectations

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