There are certain personalities that love lists and have lists for everything. I am one of those personalities. And one of my favourite lists to prepare is a camping trip menu. This was the tentative one for a trip we took with my husband, my favourite brother-in-law and our too-cool-for-school-friends, Ben and Shiroh.
Everyone was to carry a light breakfast to eat on the drive down.
Saturday lunch: (pre-made)
Fillings: kachumbari, avocado, lettuce, some meat
Chicken choma (barbecued)
Lemon drizzle cake
So off we went. This was an exceptional camping trip. I know I said that about New York, but life is so kind as to grant more than one kind of awesome. Kimana Sanctuary is a wildlife corridor linking the conservation areas of Amboseli, Chyulu Hills and Tsavo West. It is small, absolutely serene and packed with animals. Driving to the campsite we saw a lot of wildlife. We camped at Elerai campsite right by Kimana river.
I should have stuck to the plan and made the tortillas at home. For some reason … can’t remember now, I felt sufficiently inspired and thought we would cook them at the campsite (you know, have them hot and fresh). Yes I can be extra like that. Only thing was … the rolling pin was left in Nairobi. So we used bottles, Italian-pizza-stretching-styles etc. The result was more of naan than a thin tortilla, but we still got lunch.
This was a new addition to our camping meals. However, it will most certainly be making a comeback; cooked and packed beforehand though.
So after our lunch of tacos, we were content simply to read, nap, birdwatch, and chat. We were in for a surprise though. As we were lounging, look who stopped by our neighborhood for a drink …
For some dumb reason, that river (which you can’t see in the picture above) gave us a sense of security and we simply sat and enjoyed watching 22 elephants drink. Afterwards thankfully, they didn’t trample us but turned around and left the way they had come.
We skipped this cause we had a big late lunch. So we simply enjoyed our drinks and snacks.
We woke up for an early morning game drive, followed by a big breakfast.
For easy work with the pancakes, prepare in advance the dry ingredients and pack it in a jar. Do the same with the wet ingredients and pack in a jar, but don’t include the eggs. Combine the wet, dry and eggs when you are ready to cook.
After the game drive and breakfast, some napped, others read, painted, exercised, photographed, snacked or played scrabble.
By this time, my brain kicked in and I remembered to take food pictures. Supper was a camping meal favourite: roast chicken, roast potatoes and a salad, washed down with some beers.
Shiroh made delicious campfire roasted potatoes:
She mixed some garlic, herbs, and salt in oil.
Then she poked the potatoes all over with a fork.
After, she rubbed the potatoes with the seasoned oil and wrapped each potato individually in foil.
After the fire had been going for some time and there were some coals, she put the potatoes on the coals and let them cook for about an hour.
Pierce with a knife to see if they are ready. Don’t worry if the foil burns, the potatoes are fine.
It is preferable to carry all your drinking and cooking water to Kimana. With this in mind, it made sense to carry a pre-cleaned bag of lettuce. Slice up some tomatoes in wedges and throw them in. Transform the leftover garlic/herb oil (used for the potatoes) into a simple vinaigrette by squeezing in some fresh lemon juice.
The chicken had been marinating for a few hours in Shalimar chicken tikka mix. Chicken cooks faster than the potatoes (imagine!) so start with the potatoes.
Having that big iron mesh/grill was like having a four burner stove. We could heat our bath water in the bucket and kettle, while cooking up bacon, sausages, scrambled eggs, and coffee. For delicious breakfast potatoes, after frying up the bacon throw in an onion (optional) and dice last night’s leftover potatoes and cook.
For about USD 1,000 a night, one can enjoy the company of giraffes at their breakfast table in Nairobi’s Giraffe Manor. For USD 20 per person a night, we enjoyed watching a herd of 24 elephants while having our breakfast.
Kimana was a stunning experience. It’s simple campsite. The river provides water for bathing and cleaning. There is a simple yet very functional bathroom (the picture below is the entrance). One can heat the water in the kettle or bucket for a shower. Highly recommend it.