Lake Nakuru, Masai Mara and Nairobi
23.08.2011 - 30.08.2011 26 °C
It was my 26th birthday and we had made our way from
Amboseli to Lake Nakuru. Once we arrived we opted for
a boat ride out to see the Hippos. We cruised the lake in a small
motor boat and spotted several groups of Hippos above the
surface as well as a variety of water birds and an island full of waterbucks.
We docked on the opposite side of the lake and got to walk
amongst the Zebras, Wildebeest and Waterbucks.
Later that afternoon we arrived at the Lake Nakuru National Park
which is home to one hundred Rhinos and is famous for the
thousands of pink flamingos that aligne the lakes edge.
The park is smaller so you have a better chance of spotting
the animals, We saw a pride of lions, several water buffalo
and enough baboons to temporarily block off the road.
Unfortunately we got caught in an afternoon storm and our
encounter with a rare black Rhinoceros also happened to be
during a big down pour. It had cleared up in time to admire the
flamingos and we witnessed a rainbow above Lake Nakuru.
We arrived at the Lake Nakuru lodge on dusk and I was treated
to a special birthday dinner with two fellow aussie travelers from
Perth and was surprised with a big piece of cake and a local musician
to sing me a Happy Birthday song on his guitar.
The next day we arrived in the Masai Mara and had saved the best
till last. We checked into the Masai Mara sopa lodge and headed out
for an afternoon game drive. Our guide had spotted a lioness on the
prowl and as we followed her, she had lead us back to her pride and
we spent the rest of the day observing them.
We saw lots of lions in the Masai Mara including an infant cub and a
big male that looked every part- the king of the jungle!
That night in the lodge we got the chance to watch the wild feeding.
The hotel staff had laid out some scraps and guests were invited to the
balcony to see who comes out to feed and on that night it happened to be
a hyena. I remember seeing it's big eyes glowing in the shadows and
watching it sneak up on the food, just the smallest noise from the guests
and the hyena ran off but after a few several attempts she had got her
food and amazed the spectators.
It was now our last day on safari and we spotted warthogs,
elephants, vultures and a very cute baby zebra, who are brown
in colour until they mature. But we were all hoping to see a cheetah
before our tour ended. They are often the hardest to find as they
hunt at night and live alone and known to be solitary, But we were
in luck and my the end of that day we had seen six including one
who was feasting on an unlucky impala.
We also got to witness one of the the Seventh Wonder of the world,
the Wildebeest migration. This takes part every year when the herd cross
from Tanzania to Kenya in search of fresh food and water. There are over
one million wildebeest on the move. We started at the Mara River which
is the most dangerous part of their journey as they have to cross
the crocodile infested waters.
We didn't see any cross when we visited but the crocodiles were waiting
patiently on the waters edge. We followed the herd of thousands and even
traveling at 60kms in the car struggled to keep up with them. It was great
amazing to see them in such great numbers and you can't help but respect
them for their ccourageous adventure.
The next day it was time to say baadaye (See you later) to the plains of
Africa and head back to the airport, it was sad to leave and I could have
easily stayed a few extra days. As we made our way back to Nairobi we
passed through the Raft Valley we had to pull over and clear the road whilst
the president drove by.
Once back in Nairobi we had some free time before our evening flight
so had decided to visit the Nairobi Animal Orphanage. It's home to injured
or orphaned wild animals and I thought this would be nice to see how they
have been rehabilitated but it was just depressing. It was sad to see the
animals in small confined spaces and after spending a week on Safari and
seeing how they live in the wild, this was a disappointment.
Afterwards we stopped into the the Giraffe Centre at the famous
Giraffe Manor. It was only $7 to get in and was worth every cent.
You get the chance to get up close to these amazing creatures on a
viewing platform that takes you eye to eye with the giraffes.
Here you can pat them, hand feed them and even receive a kiss
from a giraffe which makes for a wonderful photo opp!
I really enjoyed my time in Africa, being on safari was a wonderful
experince and I would love to return again one day!