Saturday, October 05, 2013

Masai Mara - Lake Nakuru

This morning we bid farewell to Masai Mara and hit the road for Lake Nakuru.  It was another long 5 hour drive but I found it interesting to watch the changing scenery as we got into the hills.  Everything was very green with all the agriculture in the area and as we passed through different towns of various sizes the little kids would wave to us as we drove by.  We did have a horror stretch of unpaved roads which felt like it would never end (even more fun when trying to go up a hill), but our drivers Charles and Joseph were amazing.  The Kenyan Government needs to invest in infrastructure!

Once we got to Nakuru we were back in a bigger city.  At the entrance to Lake Nakuru National Park you could see lots of monkeys roaming around.  Unfortunately while Charles was paying the park fees we had a monkey jump through the open driver's side window, which freaked us out.  I was scared it was going to come through the van but thankfully Joseph shooed him away.  The last thing I needed at the end of a 5 hour drive was to be attacked by a monkey.

We checked into our residence for the evening, Lake Nakuru Lodge, which is up the hill within the park grounds and has views of the lake.  The lodge is pretty nice with a great pool but unfortunately we didn't have time to jump in as after our late lunch we headed out on our afternoon game drive.  The lake has been rising over the past couple years which is destroying some of the habitat.  As a result there aren't as many birds here as in previous years.  We did see some flocks of flamingos but the most amazing sight was a small herd of white rhinos that were grazing by the roadside.  We were so close to them and as they just munched their way quietly past us.  The females have sharper horns than the males.  It was the last of the "big five" we had yet to see on the trip, so that was very exciting.

During the game drive we also saw zebras, buffaloes, and a huge group of giraffes among the trees.  We watched them for a bit as they ate and then crossed the road behind our van.  It looks like giraffes are walking in slow motion, but they are so graceful.  I think they are my favorite animal as I can't get enough of them.  We didn't have any luck with seeing a lion today but did come across some guinea fowl and a jackal. 

As we drove back to the lodge we were able to watch the sun set behind the hills.  We had dinner in the very kitsch-designed restaurant and saw a bit of a dance performance before heading off to our rooms for bed.  We have decided to do another game drive in the morning before departing for Amboseli.

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