By Tony Mochama
Growing up in the 1980s and going to Kisii, once one had passed the Kericho Tea Hotel, the only ‘nice’ facility in Gusii-land was the Kisii Hotel. Today the facility would pass for a glorified ‘boarding and lodging’ with fresh green-and-white paint.
The journey to Kisii back then was tortuous as it was made through bad roads and hair-raising bends packed with mad trucks and suicidal bus drivers. Today the Chinese have made the trip as smooth as a Casanova.
Cradled between the picturesque Nyachwa and Manga hills, Ufanisi is the best place to manga (eat) or even manga manga (tour) in Gusii town.
The area is lush with a tropical air due to the trees that themselves straddle grass so green it’s like a scene out of the film Alice in Wonderland.
Even a tough critic would be hard pressed to find a single negative thing about this little Eden in Kisii.
Any looming thoughts of doom and gloom are quickly dispelled by the private bar in the resort rooms, although instead of playing at Solitaire, one must dare and venture out to the Entertainment Centre at Ufanisi and get mellow with the variety of musical fare on offer.
And instead of being woken up by the vexing sound of cockerels, as is the case in Bifwoli Wakwoli’s village, it is the sound of tropical birds chirping in the resort’s trees that tells one to ‘arise and shine’.
Matoke and kienyeji chicken form part of the rich traditional menu that includes traditional vegetables like managu and chinsaga that are popular in Kisii. Meals cost between Sh100 and Sh700.
The only tragedy in tise story is when one has to kiss Kisii, and especially Ufanisi, goodbye — and return to the hustle, bus bustle, fuss and farce of the capital city.