Safari so goodi

Trip Start Oct 25, 2012
1
19
Trip End Nov 17, 2012


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Flag of Kenya  , Nakuru,
Friday, November 16, 2012

After a night under mosquito nets, that the kids thought very exciting, we were up early to start our game drive in Nakuru national park at 7am. As we went into the park there were a whole troupe of baboons which were highly entertaining ( possibly they are paid they were so good!) and then we went into the park proper with the top of the van open so we could stand up and look out. The kids thought that standing up and looking out was possibly the most exciting thing ever and wanted to drive all the way back to Nairobi like that! The park was huge, we were driving around for seven hours and covered only half. It was stunningly beautiful, especially in the early morning with the sunlight glinting off the huge lake and mountains and volcanic craters rising up mistily in the background. We were just watching a herd of waterbuck cross the road when they suddenly started running in the opposite direction and monkeys appeared in every tree shouting and pointing. A big cat was around. We watched and waited and then, about 50m away a leopard went prowling across next to a field of long grass. With binoculars you could see all the spots and markings clearly. We watched it until it disappeared into the forest - the first of our big five was spotted!

We were driving next to the lake and there were a whole host of beautiful birds - I'm not one for birds normally but even I was impressed by the pelicans, flamingos, storks, egrets and ibis. There were at least two, sometimes five different types of each bird. On the land side we saw Thompson gazelle, some of whom were locking horns in a fight, a herd of zebra, impala and the second of our big five, a herd of buffalo, which are apparently quite aggressive and can charge, but looked very calm when we were going past. Again some animals started running and we looked across the plain and saw a lion walking across by some trees. It jumped up in a tree and settled down for a snooze. There are tree climbing lions in Nakuru and it exciting to see it. It blended in very well with the tree and two other vehicles with Americans came up and we spent a good twenty minutes trying to point out the lion "see the red tree, no not that one, the one by that zebra, and there's a tree just behind it with a fork and on the right hand fork you can see the lion" etc etc. they got it in the end and the third of our big five was ticked off, after only two hours on safari!

Next came my worst nightmare as the road ahead was a strip across water and covered in birds, so as we drove through, with Isaac shouting "clear off the road!" There were birds flapping all around the vehicle and came close to flying in. It was like the horror movie, but the kids and Paul thought it great!

We then drove to baboon point and got out the vehicle for a rest, and to enjoy the amazing view as we were high up at that point. There were a load of geckos and lizards that Ella was excellent at spotting and then came a truly African experience where we had to use pit latrines. The kids were horrified,quite funny, but there was no other option so they had to have a go! Hee hee!

We chatted to the Americans who had caught us up and they had been doing similar stuff to us, some work and this was the holiday part. They were from Kansas so we thought it best not to mention the election (in your face Romney!). They hadn't seen the leopard, so that was one to the British ha ha!

Once we set off again Ella was responsible for the most exciting spot of the game drive, she suddenly said "snake!". So we backed up and all of a sudden a giant python reared up and slithered away into the bushes. It must have been at least four metres long. George radioed the American car to tell them / gloat but they had missed it.

Next came a herd of giraffes which we saw with the American lot who had caught us up. There were two that were trying to mate but seemed to suffer performance pressure givens that a group of tourists were watching. So the shy giraffes went into the bushes and did their bit for conservation, given that that particular breed are endangered with only 350 in the wild.

The drive went on and we saw DIC DICs little tiny antelope things who mate for life - aww, monkeys, eland, and the fourth of our big five, a family of rhino, male female and two babies. They came lumbering very close up and George backed up as he a worried they would charge, but they were just crossing the road (why did the rhino cross the road? There's a joke there somewhere) and all was well. Relief really as the rhino horn is huge and very pointy.

The rest of the drive went on with us continuing to spot all the above animals, we even saw a couple of lions in the distance under a tree. We all had a fabulous time, would really recommend it to anyone. Take wet wipes for the pit latrines though is my top tip!

Back to Nairobi yesterday and a chilled out day with a swim to recover.

We fly tonight so we have now had our last sleep in Nairobi, accompanied by the sounds of crickets, bullfrogs, dogs and cats fighting and barking and city noise.

Today we said our goodbyes. To baby Ella and Isaac, who are doing well and we got to give Isaac a last bottle feed, to bishop Peter and Anne Chege, who we had lunch with which was lovely, to the ark children who gave us a great send off and to Guy and Susannah, Levi and Gerro, who are the reason we came in the first place.

We fly at midnight. Might give the kids an espresso milkshake to keep them awake.

Hope you enjoyed our blog. Signing off.
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