Joyce Kiragu has been with Rift Valley Adventures for ten years now and has explored and led groups across every magical landscape from the Laikipian savannah to the slopes of Mount Kilimanjaro. Her passion for people and the environment makes trips with Joyce some of the most memorable moments that you can have on any adventure trip across Kenya. From mountain bike safaris on Ol Pejeta Conservancy to inter-cultural experiences in the heart of Samburu land, you can be sure that Joyce is having as much fun as you!
What first got you interested in adventure?
I loved going for walks or rides in remote areas near our home since my teenage years. But I never thought of it as an adventure since I would do it almost every day. When I explored more adventurous pursuits, after joining RVA a few years later, a whole new fire was sparked in me. I think this has been one of the great aspects about working in the outdoors is that I can keep that passion for myself and keep active, but also have the chance to introduce and coach others into it and share the passion which is what I have been able to do with RVA.
If you had to stay with one adventurous pursuit?
That would be the most difficult decision. I don’t know what I would do without biking, backpacking and camping in my life….Tough choice!! I think one of the great appeals of the outdoors is the variety it gives you and all the different ways you can travel and move around in it. I have traveled with groups on camels, landcruisers, mountain bikes, kayaks, and most simply of all just trekking to get to the top of the mountain or to the next campsite.
When on expedition what’s your favourite meal?
Warm pasta sauce with loads of cheese…. Yum!! Pasta is the perfect camping fuel to get you up and running with the energy needed for the next day on the trip.
What’s your favourite piece of equipment?
It was my Swiss pocket knife before I dropped it in the canyon pools! In fact the blue pools of Ngare Ndare Forest are home to many bits of equipment from pocket knives to GoPro cameras so my big tip if visiting the pools for a swim or to go canyoning is make sure you double check that everything is tied on so you leave with what you came with.
What’s been your favorite moment working with RVA?
Another tough choice. I have had so many experiences with RVA. But one that stands out is my first trip with George Heriot’s, a visiting school from Scotland who have come every year for the past seven years and its been incredible to explore East Africa with them.
When your off on a long expedition and camping what’s the one thing you take?
A good book. Although we have various gadgets like ipads and kindles these days, I think there is nothing more satisfying than an actual book and a good page turner is great at the end of the day when you are warm and comfortable in the tent.
What’s been your favourite adventure moment?
Every time I am with a keen group experiencing a certain adventurous activity for the first time. Their excitement is very genuine, raw and fearful all wrapped up together. I think the outdoors has given me a huge amount of great experiences and one of the highlights for me in the outdoors is the opportunity to share it with others and take people out into the wild and share that experience – which is after all what an adventure guide does.
What’s your favourite place for adventure in Kenya?
Samburu County. I think the wild north has so much to offer with great trekking and biking and also a very traditional feel to it with wonderful communities who still operate the way they have for centuries.
If you could do any adventure you like what would it be?
Multi-day bike safari’s are something I love and also mountaineering. There are a lot of areas still to be explored on Mt Kenya, the Aberdares and other places. There are too many adventures still to be had and I would need several pages to list them. So once this lockdown ends, I shall get outdoors again and start tackling them.