Tusker Day is Exactly One Month Away….

Africa, African Art, Akinyi's Exclusive Moments, Arusha, Bujumbura, Burundi, Ghana, Harare, India, Mombasa, My Events, Nairobi, Nairobi Nightlife, Places, Satao's Herd, Tusker Day, Zimbabwe

It hit me earlier this year that I have been hosting parties in Nairobi for five years now. It feels like it was just a day ago I was chatting with the lovely Susan Deiters as she attempted to convince me to host my first party ever at her restaurant, Cafe des Arts (now Mediterraneo Gigiri) Ahh.. Those were epic parties!

Toga Party At Cafe Des Arts, 2010

Toga Party Nairobi Akinyi Adongo

Halloween Party, October 31st 2013

Halloween 2

Fast forward to early May this year. I am sitting down looking at the coming year to see which dates I could host which themed parties. September 22nd stood out particularly because it is Elephant Appreciation Day. Now if you live in Kenya only one thing pops to mind when you think of elephants, and this happens to be Tusker beer.

The patriot in me could not resist thinking that any Elephant Appreciation Day should go hand in hand with Tusker Beer Appreciation Day, hence the reason Tusker Day falls on 22nd September.

And then tragedy hit. On June 13th 2014, Tsavo Trust announced the death of Satao, Kenya’s largest African male elephant. He was slaughtered by poachers for ivory. Satao’s tusks were so huge they almost reached the ground. Sometimes he would lean the tusks on the ground in order to rest his head and get some sleep.

Satao The Great Kenyan Tusker

Satao Slideshow 1

Satao belongs to an elite group of elephants who have the necessary genetics to grow tusks this big. These elephants are called Tuskers. They are on the brink of extinction. As you read this, there are only 11 tuskers left in Tsavo, the late Satao’s home, out of a herd of 11,000 elephants.

There are other Tuskers in Africa, but my guess is they are less that 50 in total. We are looking at a species dying right in front of our eyes. Therefore, it is only fair that we pay homage to Satao,and the remaining Tuskers on Tusker Day (Elephant Appreciation Day)

Isilo the Great South African Tusker

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That said, I propose we celebrate Tusker Day annually on September 22nd for the following amazing reasons:

1. To honor, protect and fight for Tuskers (+elephants) worldwide which will be extinct in 15 years if poaching continues at such an alarming rate. Find out how you can join the cause by having a look at our campaign, Satao’s Herd.

2. To celebrate Africa’s first annual drinking holiday ever. Tusker beer has been the highlight of many who have fond memories of Africa. The Dutch have King’s Day, the Irish have St. Patrick’s Day, the Germans have Octoberfest and now Africa has Tusker Day.

I now leave you with the amazing elephant and Tusker beer pictures which friends have sent me from all corners of the world. I cannot wait to hear what your plans are for Tusker Day this year! Do send me an email with your thoughts on akinyiadongo (@) tuskerday (.) com

Social Media Links: Tusker Day Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, Blog, Flickr, Tumblr, WebsiteSatao’s Herd Facebook, Twitter, Instagram

Behold, a Satao Piece which artist Sophie Standing is currently working on.

Sophie Standing

Kristy McGovern sure knows how to enjoy a Tusker 🙂

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Erin Petson did the most beautiful sketch of Satao

 

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My all time favourite Tusker Picture from Sam Dave

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Mauro Russo‘s art piece called “Satao the last elephant and the mask of blood”

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A Lion King/Tusker Beer moment in Africa by Scott Smith

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Don’t you feel like going on Safari when you look at Nick Pearse’s wonderful picture!

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Who knew an African Beer could look so good in snow! Mike Nugent‘s picture is quite delightful!

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Burundi: A Surprising Getaway in the Heart of Africa

Bujumbura, Burundi

We just got back to Nairobi after a fruitful eight days in Bujumbura. The city was very laid back but at the same time had an unexpected number of surprises. As soon as work was done on site everyday, we would head back to our hotel, shower, change and then head back out to explore Bujumbura.

We checked out a couple of places, liked some, enjoyed some more than we should have and were indifferent to others. Here is the list:

1. Bora Bora Beach Club.

Bora Bora gets our approval. It has a good beach, great view of Lake Tanganyika, comfortable beach beds, free wireless internet, beach volleyball and pizza. I doubt we needed more in life… Here is a link with more pictures and information.

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7 Bora Bora Bujumbura Akinyi Adongo

2. Rudy’s Ride

Rudy Ghirini, the force behind the most successful establishments in Bujumbura  (Bora Bora, Le Sabayon, Havana and Kiboko Grill at Ubuntu Residence) was kind enough to take us on a cruise on Lake Tanganyika on Sunday morning.. Here is more information on how to get the same ride..

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3. Le Café Gourmand

This has got to be one of the best places to have a cup of coffee or a quick sandwich. It has free WiFi, a rooftop seating area and the mouthwatering scent of freshly baked pastries. Find more pictures here.

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10 Cafe Gourmand Bujumbura

4. Le Sabayon

Fine dining at its best in Bujumbura. Here is a link with more pictures

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2 Le Sabayon Akinyi Adongo

5. Kiboko Grill (Located at Ubuntu Residence)

We had loads of fun in Kiboko Grill. The food was great and our hosts Rudy and Cynthia very accommodating.. Here is a link with our escapades at Kiboko.

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6. Havana Pub.

Pizza, pool tables, free WiFi, cold beer and open seven days a week. Enough said. For more on Havana click here

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6. Kiss Club

A lively club with music that keeps you on your toes all night… Here are more pictures 

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7. Belvedere Restaurant

An upmarket restaurant with one of the best views of Bujumbura. Here is further information on Belvedere.

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9 Belvedere Bujumbura Akinyi Adongo

Two points of interest: First, when packing for Bujumbura carry a few extra bottles of mosquito repellent. Second, service is generally slow in most establishments, so whenever you order your food, sit back relax and wait patiently. When I was doing some background reading on-line on Burundi, I came across an article written in 2009 which I feel is relevant if you are visiting Burundi for the first time. Here is the link.

That aside I would definitely recommend spending a weekend in Bujumbura.

A Delightful Ride on Lake Tanganyika…

Bujumbura, Burundi

Saturday night in Bujumbura was heavy on us. Rudy promised us that the best detox plan after a couple of fun late nights was a ride out into Lake Tanganyika. The wonderful breeze on the lake and the magnificent view on Sunday morning would help us recharge and get ready for the afternoon at Bora Bora Beach Club.

It worked! We boarded the boat and had one of the most laid back Sunday mornings I have had in ages.

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The cost of the ride is 200 USD per hour per group. This is inclusive of drinks (alcoholic and non-alcoholic) and food. The longer the ride the cheaper it gets. It is totally worth it…

Le Sabayon Bujumbura: The Coziest Fine Dining Experience in Bujumbura

Bujumbura, Burundi

Rudy offered to take us somewhere nice for dinner one night. It came as a surprise that “somewhere nice” turned out to be his restaurant, Le Sabayon located within Bora Guest House.

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Le Sabayon is the type of restaurant that is ideal if you need the right environment to seal a business deal or impress a date in Bujumbura. The lush garden and swimming pool add a special touch to the place.

The service was great and the ambiance relaxed…

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The girls and I had the fish wrapped in salmon…

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Cynthia, Rudy’s girlfriend had the escargot…

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And Rudy had the octopus…

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I would take an individual very seriously if they offered to wine and dine me in Le Sabayon… 🙂

Kiboko Pub, Grill & Pizza Bujumbura: Officially My Favourite Restaurant in Burundi

Bujumbura, Burundi

1. Kiboko Grill, Ubuntu Residence Bujumbura Akinyi Adongo

When we first strolled into Kiboko Grill located within the Ubuntu Residence complex, we were thirsty, hungry, tired from our flight and fighting to adjust to the Bujumbura heat.

Little did we know that we were about to be refreshed, rejuvenated and stuffed from the delicious treats awaiting us. One thing we learnt was that you do not need to ask for Kiboko Grill located within the Ubuntu Residence complex, once you ask anyone where Ubuntu is they will know what you are talking about.

The Entrance to Kiboko Grill

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2 Kiboko Grill, Ubuntu Residence Bujumbura Akinyi Adongo

The entrance gives way to an expansive garden with a splendid view of Lake Tanganyika.

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We went straight to the dining section and made ourselves comfortable…

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We had samosas as our starter. They were so delicious to the point where I completely forgot to take a picture 🙂

Next came the main course. Stef had grilled Mukeke fish with french fries.

6 Kiboko Grill, Ubuntu Residence Bujumbura Akinyi Adongo

I decided to go with Pearl’s suggestion of the captain fish brochette. Pearl is from South Africa. She lives and works in Burundi, so I figured she would know what’s good on the menu. I was right. The fish brochette was divine. They serve it on a skewer stand as is illustrated below…

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Shrina had a pizza…

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Judging from the number of orders, their pizzas are quite popular…

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We had dessert after dinner which the three of us could barely finish…

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The only thing separating Kiboko from Lake Tanganyika is a road. As a result the view is lovely and the breeze more than welcome.

43 Kiboko Grill, Ubuntu Residence Bujumbura Akinyi Adongo

44 Kiboko Grill, Ubuntu Residence Bujumbura Akinyi Adongo

We went back to Kiboko Grill a couple of times for lunch, dinner and coffee meetings. One of the most fun lunch/afternoon we spent there was with Rudy (the owner of Kiboko Grill) and Thais and Banti who were on a weekend long holiday in Bujumbura.

Banti had Calamari as his starter…

18 Kiboko Grill, Ubuntu Residence Bujumbura Akinyi Adongo

Thais had the beef carpaccio as her starter, as did Stef.

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The main courses were quite varied. Rudy had fish and chips…

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Cynthia had chicken and chips…

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Thais had the pork leg…

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Banti had the grilled Mukeke fish…

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And I had my usual Captain fish brochette…

27 Kiboko Grill, Ubuntu Residence Bujumbura Akinyi Adongo 28 Kiboko Grill, Ubuntu Residence Bujumbura Akinyi Adongo

We may have downed a bottle of sparkling wine during and after lunch (I like to include myself in the “we” in this sentence despite the fact that I still don’t drink alcohol) . We then signed the bottle for Rudy 🙂

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Coming back to Kiboko Grill, they also have a warm bar section where we usually gathered around to have drinks before and after dinner.

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One of the things I did appreciate about this restaurant was the bathrooms. They were clean and very well kept. We still judge a venue by its bathrooms. The second thing that made us visit regularly was the wireless internet.

Corridor leading to the bathrooms

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The swimming pool was a bonus. A couple of people hopped in whenever we were there in the afternoon

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42 Kiboko Grill, Ubuntu Residence Bujumbura Akinyi Adongo

Our overall experience here was memorable. It would be a crime not to visit Kiboko Grill if you ever end up in Bujumbura…

Havana Club Bujumbura: The Perfect Spot to Kick Start Your Evening Seven Days a Week.

Bujumbura, Burundi

We heard about Havana in Bujumbura long before we set foot in Burundi. So it was only fair that after our first day of work we make our way to this famous bar. Rudy, our cherished contact in Burundi (who also happened to be the owner of Havana) took us there after dinner in Maquis.

1 Havana Bujumbura Akinyi Adongo

We spent a lot of evenings in Havana meeting very interesting people, some of whom were visitors to Bujumbura  just like us. We swapped stories with them and marvelled over how pleasant Burundi is.

From Thursday to Saturday night there is a DJ who keeps the crowd dancing.

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8 Havana Bujumbura Akinyi Adongo

Havana also has a quick menu with pizzas, samosas and other snacks if you do get hungry late at night.

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At the very back there are pool tables which present a good opportunity to make new friends.

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5 Havana Bujumbura Akinyi Adongo

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If you are ever in Burundi, you must stop by Havana for at least one drink…

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Kiss Club Bujumbura: The Ultimate Dancing Experience For Those Who Have What it Takes.

Bujumbura, Burundi

After working all week in Bujumbura, we were ready to blow off steam the only way we know best… dancing. After enquiring about the best place to go dancing, all fingers pointed up the hill to Kiss Club. We conquered the hill and danced all night on Friday and Saturday at Kiss thanks to Dj Afshon‘s phenomenal mixing. It turns out Burundians love their hip hop, electronic, Dancehall and Kenyan music.

Gregory and Oliver, the two brothers who are the brains behind the club (in conjunction with their father) were kind enough to let me  take some pictures of the club early in the evening on Sunday, after which we danced again 🙂

The club is divided into several sections. The first one is the main area (below) with the dance floor, lounge chairs on one side and the bar on the other side.

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The second section is the poolside area outside the club which has a second bar.

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The third section is the VIP Section which can be hired privately for the night. There are several lighting options in this section depending on the mood you are in…

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Follow Kiss Club’s fun nights on their Facebook page. The brothers have a lot planned for Kiss Club which opened its doors to Bujumbura party animals in December 2012. I wish them all the best 🙂

Below are more pictures of the club from Burundian photographer Chris Schwagga

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Le Café Gourmand Bujumbura: One of My Favorite Spots in Burundi

Bujumbura, Burundi

Le Café Gourmand is the biggest breathe of fresh air in the restaurant scene in Bujumbura. It was one of the most highly recommended places for us to visit once we landed in the city.

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Café Gourmand is located on Avenue de France, which is in the city centre. It is open 7 days a week for eat-in or take-out. The service was pretty good compared to other restaurants in Bujumbura where it is not uncommon to wait for your main course for almost an hour.

1. Cafe Gourmand Bujumbura Akinyi Adongo

The ramp leading up to the restaurant

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The Café’s main entrance

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3 Entrance 2 Cafe Gourmand Bujumbura Akinyi Adongo

Two things hit you once you walk in through the doors. The first is the refreshing AC which makes all the difference. Burundi is a hot country with an average annual temperature of 23 °C. The second thing that catches your attention is the delicious scent of freshly baked bread and pastries.

4 Counter Cafe Gourmand Bujumbura Akinyi Adongo

4 Cafe Gourmand Bujumbura Akinyi Adongo

5 Cafe Gourmand Bujumbura Akinyi Adongo

Le Café Gourmand is open everyday from 7:00am till 8:00pm except Sunday when it closes at 2:00pm for now. There are plans to stay open late depending on the demand (which is very high.) Every time we went there we found a line of people waiting to purchase some form of pastry. We constantly had to wait for a table which means the café’s expansion is inevitable.

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8. Cafe Gourmand Bujumbura Akinyi Adongo

We liked cruising up the stairs and enjoying our coffee/food on the rooftop.

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The sandwiches are fresh, tasty, filling and highly addictive. I am back in Nairobi secretly craving the tuna and egg sandwich…

13 Tuna Sandwich Cafe Gourmand Bujumbura Akinyi Adongo

A unique quality they have which sometimes you do not get even in Nairobi is they allow you to customize your order. For example the same tuna sandwich above in a baguette can also be served in a panini set up below.

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We also tried out the quiches and other paninis…

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15 Tomato and Cheese Panini Cafe Gourmand Bujumbura Akinyi Adongo

The fresh juices hit the spot every single time…

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The dessert was delightful… I had some help from my adventurous companions when taking pictures of the cakes and tarts 🙂

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25 Dessert Cafe Gourmand Bujumbura Akinyi Adongo

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The croissants deserve a mention too. Below are the Danish and plain croissants which we thoroughly enjoyed. The almond croissant was good too…

11 Danish Croissant and Plain Croissant Cafe Gourmand Bujumbura Akinyi Adongo

We were honoured when the MD of the Café took a few moments out of his hectic day to check up on us thanks to Jimmy and Cosmus the efficient restaurant managers who took such good care of us.

28 Dessert Cafe Gourmand Bujumbura Akinyi Adongo

Belvedere Restaurant, Offering the Best View of Bujumbura…

Bujumbura, Burundi

On our last night in Bujumbura, we decided to stop by Belvedere Restaurant for dinner. Everyone told us that it has the best view of Bujumbura. It is located up the hill in Kiriri. Unfortunately we arrived after the sun set so I completely missed that lovely sundown shot of Bujumbura. However, here are a couple of pictures of the restaurant’s interior.

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You can also simply stop by for a drink at the bar area which overlooks Bujumbura.

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The service was faster here than most of the other restaurants we frequented. The food was good, but slightly more expensive compared to all the other restaurants we dined in. In my opinion, the food could have been more impressive at these prices and the chairs more comfortable. That said we did enjoy our dinner.

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Samosas

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Ginger Chicken

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A side serving of spinach

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Maquis, A Generous Bar/Restaurant in the Heart of Bujumbura

Bujumbura, Burundi

Our charming Bujumbura host Rudy suggested that we should stop by Maquis for dinner on Wednesday night.

1 Maquis Akinyi Adongo

We strolled in and got a table at the back near the bar. There is an option of sitting down for dinner or drinks upstairs.

Maquis Entrance

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Maquis Bar

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We each ordered a different dish. To our surprise, the portions that we received were enough to feed an army. Now I’m a curvy girl with a decent appetite, but none of us were able to remotely finish our food.  Matteo’s chicken and chips (below) actually came on a tray, not a plate.

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Rudy had the foil wrapped baked fish…

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I had the spinach and mushroom fish…

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Shrina ordered the chicken in mushroom sauce which turned to be quite chewy…

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Stef had the grilled fish and chips…

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Grilled Spicy Chicken

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Our dining experience was pleasant mainly because of the lively company on the dinner table. I place this restaurant sixth out of the six restaurants we frequented in Bujumbura. The general consensus on the table was that the chicken was tough, the french fries were ok and the service could have been better.