These last couple of months at BushFit have been brilliantly buzzing with the Corporate Events taking centre stage. However, we have recently begun to yearn for another great BushFit weekend; for our wonderful guests, the bush, loads of exercise and of course not to mention for ourselves too! Therefore, over the next few months we are going to fully concentrate on our BushFit weekends promotion to make sure that we offer the best possible experience for you.
To give you an idea of what we have in store let’s seriously look at what BushFit is all about; who are we and why we do what we do? This question came to mind recently when I was working out in the gym – it was great fun, I was enjoying myself and I was getting that exercising buzz but I also noticed that this buzz was a little contained. What was different? I can tell you exactly what the difference was – I was in a room, artificially lit, with water stuck in a dispenser and I was working with MACHINES! – I didn’t have that outdoor buzz! and there is nothing, I mean absolutely NOTHING worth the experience in the world that can compare to running in the bush as the cool of evening engulfs my ankles, to practicing yoga atop a cliff face as the sun dips below the horizon, to soaking sore muscles in a dam at the end of a long hot day, to walking with elephants. Nothing beats it! It’s a thrill that begins with just being out there, combined with a heavy dose of endorphin-fuelled activity and you have the perfect combination.
So what is BushFit – exactly that – we want to run out in the open as the first sunbeam cracks the crisp of morning air, we want to salute the sun as it. We want to feel the bushes and grass brushing our legs as we walk in the wild, and we want to while away the night around a campfire and accomplish all these at our beautiful and stunning locations.
What happens when you fall in a bush of Kenya’s infamous… wait-a-bit thorns!
One of the trials and tribulations of bush running are the many rather aggressive and nasty bushes that we have in this country. None so nasty as the wait-a-bit thorn – aptly named because when you happen to get one of its spikes in you then you are quite truly forced to wait a bit because you are completely hooked to the bush. I found this out the hard way last month. On one of the BushFit promotional shoots, we were getting fairly creative with our shots and decided to try and capture one of me in full leap from one stone to another. It was inevitable – I leapt, twisted (luckily!!!) my ankle and landed (funnily) butt and back first in a particularly vicious wait-a-bit thorn bush. At first all I could feel was my ankle and the thought that it may be broken. But quite quickly that pain was replaced by the pain of thousands of little hook like thorns deeply embedded in various parts of my anatomy, namely the flesh on my bottom! These little thorns are exactly like hooks and curve backwards making it very difficult to detach yourself from them. It was just the photographer Adam and I and the more he tried to untangle me the more tangled I became. No matter what we did we could not get out of this mess and resorted to utter hysterics over the whole event as there was really nothing else we could do!
Finally a car load of friendly Maasais passed by and, seeing as they are very comfortable with the wait-a-bit thorn and armed with the right tools they had me out in a jiffy. With two of them standing on the bush the others were able to push each branch down with their rungus (nicely shaped sticks) and somewhat painfully I was excavated from the bush.
Lesson of the Bush – don’t try to shoot over ambitious photos and always avoid areas where you may come into contact with a wait-a-bit thorn bush!
weekends in here over the next few months.
June saw us looking at a particularly treacherous section of the BushFit Fundraiser Run which is taking place in December this year.
Melepo is south of Nairobi and near the Kenya-Tanzania Border. Close to Bisil where we hold many of our BushFit weekends. Accompanied by my Dad I had decided to look at the route from Melepo to Magadi and hopefully look at the Nguruman/Loiter escarpment which will take us up onto the final leg to the Mara.
We spent two days driving this route and it is set to be stunning but very hot. Running down through the hills from Melepo we expect to traverse some lovely valleys and galleys. Then once we have descended from the hills we enter the harsh scrubland that southern and northern Kenya is known for. In December temperatures may reach up to 40 degrees centigrade and so we are looking at the possibility of running some of these sections at night. After approximately 500km we reach Lake Magadi ,which is a beautiful soda lake, scattered with flamingos and torched pink from the soda streams. Unfortunately Magadi town is a fairly hideous set up comprising mainly of terribly unsightly soda factories – unfortunately we will not be including these in our promotional images! But none-the-less it adds a great dynamic to the landscape. We then hit the escarpment edge where we will climb from below 2000 ft to 8000 ft in the space of one day – or that is the hope anyway! We are looking to recci this section in July.
In the mean time Bena has been in Ivory Coast running and training for her next boxing match, and Dudu has been running in Nairobi and has re-taken up Muay Thai for the month while in town. The race is on – not long to go now. We will keep you updated as to all the many twists and turns that we find along the way.
Next event – full recci on motorbikes!
At BushFit our focus is on taking our workouts and exercise programs outside. Not only outside, but into the Bush. This month I had the privilege of visiting a very special place in Northern Kenya. Just east of Shaba is a new conservancy area that has recently been added to the Northern Rangelands Trust area of protection, called Nakuprat. It is not only beautiful, but completely untouched at this point in time. I fell in love immediately with this area and can see massive potential for a wild BushFit experience here. The wildlife is incredibly skittish and flees at the sight of people and vehicles and while this is not ideal for game viewing it makes it a little more comfortable for me with the safety of any outdoors fitness activities. The area is fairly flat and open making long running trails a real attraction. Yoga by the Ewaso Nyiro River at Sunset and Sunrise would be equally incredible. And once again due to the terrain, biking is a possibility. And if the river was a little higher I can foresee some great river activities, probably in canoes though due to the rather large crocodiles that are lurking in the Ewaso, we know they are there although they are rarely seen, another aspect that I love – the game here is just not used to people at all. It makes the area feel wild, untouched and mystical!
The area surrounding Nakuprat would provide some serious hiking opportunities as well as rock climbing. All of this set against the most stunning backdrop, framed by hills and mountains, the area is the passing route for trains of camels that the Borana are herding through to market, and located in the heart of this area if one of the most untouched and fascinating cultural experiences that I have ever seen……although this is to remain a secret only for those that commit to a trip here.
Does a BushFit mobile safari interest you? Would the idea of being one of the first runners to tread on the soil in some of Kenya’s remotest outreaches bring a tingle of excitement to your bones? Get in touch if so. This is an exciting development that we are contemplating for next year; The BushFit trail running and biking mobile safaris in some of the most stunning locations in Kenya. Our possibilities here are endless, and we have some of the greatest topography for it in the world, and the range of activities that we could offer are endless, from running, to yoga and pilates on the river bank, biking to hiking, and kayaking to rock climbing.
Feedback from our first Corporate Event:
‘BushFit provided an excellent training forum for our staff combining technical training with teamwork and leadership skills with an underlying theme of the importance of health in the work environment. Providing a fantastic setting and sumptuous healthy food our team were able to relax and address many of those work related issues that there is often not… room to explore or resolve in the day-to-day workplace environment. Pleasingly, the effects of the training were instantly recognizable within the team on return to the office, a testament to the dedication and professionalism of the BushFit team.’
– Andrew Hart, CEO, AFEX Group.
Andrew Hart | Chief Executive Officer
AfexGroup – a Lonrho Company