MySkills4Afrika–Journal 03

This was a big weekend for me.  It was my tourist starting point and I was going to take full advantage of the opportunity.  Monday through Friday I was focused on work and by the time I arrived back at the hotel, night had fallen on us and I really didn’t want to venture out (especially by myself).  My first destination for the weekend was Lake Nakuru… having to set the alarm clock at 4:15a on a Saturday was quite early.

Note – all of my pictures were taken using the Nokia Lumia 1020 Windows Phone and you can view all of my Lake Nakuru pictures from my shared OneDrive folder.  Once there, select the Location Specific Folder and then the desired folder of the destination (i.e. Kenya Lake Nakuru).

Saturday – Lake Nakuru, Kenya

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imageIt was about a 3 hour drive from Nairobi to Lake Nakuru National Park.  The National Park was created in 1961 around Lake Nakuru.  Prior to my travel, I learned that Lake Nakuru is best known for the hundreds of thousands (maybe millions) of flamingos that gather there to nest and to feed on the abundance of algae.  I also learned that it is a sanctuary for the black rhino and they have between 25 and 40 (one of the largest concentrations in the country).  The park has been mostly fenced to try and keep out the poachers as this animal is near extinction.

Other animals that are present at the park include the Rothschild’s giraffe, waterbuck, lion, cheetah, leopard, zebra, flamingos, baboons, and others.

imageBefore we could even get into the park, we were greeted by a few entertaining guests.  They are obviously prepared to meet the guests and as a new visitor, I was caught off guard and didn’t have my camera ready.  But, I was still able to capture a few photos of the baboons… and my excitement intensified – I couldn’t wait to start the journey.

And here we are.

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(note the above picture of the entrance isn’t the entrance we entered the park – the road was flooded.  This picture is on the opposite side but I have decided to add it here).

imageOnce we entered the park and paid our fee (about $90 US), my captain for the day (David) prepared our vehicle by raising the roof and taking a quick glance before we set out on our adventure.  I then moved from the passenger seat to the back where I remained the entire trip with the exception of our lunch break.  I was the sole passenger which made it great bouncing from side to side and standing up to take a few pictures of what we might see.

We started our journey and the first thing that is evident is the scenery – it is absolutely stunning.

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Almost immediately after we started, I saw a lone waterbuck and lone impala.  A little concerning for these guys… this isn’t your normal zoo out there.

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As we traveled through the park, I got to witness many amazing animals that you only dream about seeing; and for many you only see them in your neighborhood zoo.  Witnessing these animals first hand roaming the vast 188 square kilometer park was a dream come true.  Instead of commenting moment by moment, I thought I would just include a few of my pictures below with additional information afterwards (again, you can gain access to all of the photos from the link at the beginning).

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(the above picture on the right isn’t very clear because I had to zoom in… but, do you see the baby baboon riding on the back?)

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Here come the monkeys… my favorite

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And, just in case you are ever wondering if this is the ZOO… IT ISN’T!!!  Ask this fellow (or, maybe not).

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We stopped for lunch (sorry, so close to the carcass picture) with a beautiful scene.

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We did get to see two lions… well, sort of.  We found the two lions resting behind some shrubs and under a tree.  We were only able to see their chest and every once in awhile got to see the lions tail flap around.  I did take a picture but it really isn’t that great…. but, don’t worry.  If you were hoping to see Lions, you’ll have to wait for my post – most likely the “MySkills4Afrika – Journal 05” which will be my entry for the Nairobi National park I did on Monday.  But hey… I still need to describe Sunday.

We arrived at the park around 8a and left the park a little after 3:30p.

Oh yeah… where are the millions of flamingos?  There weren’t very many flamingos to see at all.  Lake Nakuru has had a lot of rain and I believe that has kept them away.

On our way back to the Fairmont Hotel in Nairobi Kenya, we decided to make two pit stops on the way – Lake Naivasha and the Rift Valley Viewpoint.

Lake Naivasha

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Lake Naivasha was just under halfway on our return trip.  Lake Naivasha is a freshwater lake and is the home of a few hippos… which was the reason why we decided to stop.  Plus, I love being on the water and I was able to experience that joy in Kenya Africa.

 

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Here they are… the hippos.  That is about all you see.  During the day, they stay almost completely submerged in the water (can stay under the water for about 5 minutes on a single breath of air) and then close to evening they move to the land to graze on the grass before they hunker down for the evening to rest.

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It just so happened that the National Geographic had a special on hippos later that night… did you know that hippos can crush a fully grown crocodile with a single bite?  They have such force in their jaws… and they are super aggressive.  DO NOT get too close.  My understanding is that they are the #1 killer of humans in Africa.

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The Rift Valley Viewpoint

The last stop before we arrive “home” was the Rift Valley View Point.  I could have done better with my panorama, but hey… I’m getting tired.

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At the viewpoint, there are small shops where you can purchase a few things… there are about 8+ shops.  I felt bad for the other 7 because I spent all the remaining money I had with this guy.

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I arrived at the hotel around 7:30p (what a great way to spend 17 hours).  You would think that I would have passed out as soon as I entered the room.  Nope.  After a quick shower I got to work on organizing my pictures – still thinking about the excitement for the day (and what is to come on Sunday).  It was a little after midnight before I actually passed out.

Thanks for reading.

#MySkills4Afrika will always be cheerished!

-Stephen

2 Comments

Filed under MySkills4Afrika

2 responses to “MySkills4Afrika–Journal 03

  1. Pingback: MySkills4Afrika–Journal 06 | Stephen Legler (Twitter @smlegler)

  2. Pingback: MySkills4Afrika – Summary Posts | Stephen Legler (Twitter @smlegler)

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