Trip Start Aug 02, 2004
40Trip End Sep 25, 2005
Nairobi is like any other third world capital city - heaps of taxis (legal and illegal), too many people trying to sell you stuff or give you directions when you don't want them (and usually for some other ulterior motive) and huge amounts of beggars. Having arrived late in the evening there does not seem to much going on in the city but you get the sense that you are always being watched. You do feel uneasy when you do not see too many other westerners around and there are guys carrying automatic weapons everywhere (trusting that they are security). In hindsight there are not too many places in Africa where we have felt uneasy but certainly Nairobi (or Nairobbery as some Africans call it) lives up to its reputation - there were several occasions where we walked into what one would call the "wrong" place where there was something going down
And after 2 nights in Nairobi things kicked off - we met our tour leaders and Maggie (the name given to the truck!). Maggie is aptly named because after spending 5 weeks on here she is certainly no Margaret - in fact she was as rough as guts!
On our trip over half the people have been doing overland trips for 6 or more months, starting in places like London, Beijing or Cairo - these are the overland experts or as Shaun likes to call them "overland junkies". We are the only Australians on this leg of the trip, which finishes in Victoria Falls in Zimbabwe (although most are doing another trip on the back of it through Botswana etc to South Africa) with the majority of the group being British with a couple of Canadians, 1 Swiss and 1 Hungarian thrown in for good measure.
We spent 5 days in Kenya, which was not a long time in hindsight, but we managed to do heaps - every day seemed to be very busy.
What did we see and do:
- the Great Rift Valley (as opposed to the Great Spliff Valley which everyone dreams of)
- Lake Navasha area where we got our first wildlife viewing as we watched the hippos bathing on the lake's edge
- Pitched a tent for the first time (yes this would have been a sight but the tents were idiot proof)
- Elsamere the famous home of Joy and George Adamson of "Born Free" fame (the story of Elsa the lioness)
- Our only walking safari in Crater lake (most places you can not walk due to wild animal risk) where you get up close and personal with giraffes, zebras, thompson's gazelle and numerous other birds and wildlife
- Visit to Kariandusi School Project (a school funded in part by Dragoman) where we interacted with the students and helped with projects such as book covering and preparation of teaching aids
- Safari day in Lake Nakuru National Park our first big safari
- Kakamega Forest - Kenya's last remaining rain forest (due to a lack of rain it was more forest than rain forest but Shaun did get to see a fire fly!) where we did a walking tour seeing colobus monkeys, blue monkeys, red tail monkey, hornbills (which sound like helicopters when they fly!), hammerhead bat and various flora including a Vitamin C flower (which really worked!)
- Impromptu stop on the side of the road to watch tea leaf pickers doing their work and to have a chat with them