Lake Naivasha - Fisherman's Camp

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February 10th 2010
Published: February 17th 2010
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There are so many spiders living in and on it that our tent (bright blue though it is) has practically become a part of the wildlife. The camp is teeming with life - thankfully not too much of the human kind, as we are enjoying the peace of so few other tourists that we have been fortunate to experience so far. From the tiniest ants though to giant but reclusive and antisocial hippos, and all in between, there is animal life all around us - all existing both alongside and also separate from each other, the various species observing individual patterns and paces of life, intersecting at various moments in time and space. Supporting them is the rich abundance and variety of plants and trees whose slow growth makes the animal movement seem wildly frenetic, yet is so palpable and lush that it's easy to imagine the vegetation breathing and shifting around me.

I'm sitting at the picnic table and chairs combo that we heaved over to our tent when we set up camp and built our fireplace close by. All around me stretches an expanse of soft grass, patched with sunlight filtered by the tall acacias that are dotted throughout the site. They play host to, amongst countless insects, a multitude of black and white colobus monkeys, vervet monkeys, and variety of birds of all sizes.

To my right is a vast belt of thick green that divides the campsite from the road so effectively that I only know it is there because it is how we arrived and we have since walked and ridden it several times. The green is interrupted by a cascade of the largest bougainvillia I have ever seen, tumbling down from the tall branches of jacaranda that it has colonised, and it's profusion of brilliant fuscia flowers even more intense when sun struck.

On my left the environment is distinctly banded, with the grass that is the hippos' dinner plate giving way to a stretch of sun-beat green that is made up of shorter thorny acacias, vines, and a thicket of tall papyrus that fan at the top like exploding fireworks. There's a woman there at the moment, cutting the papyrus and then stripping the casing to reveal the pale fibrous cores. These parts are being cut into strips, many samples of which can be seen around the place, lying on the ground in the sun to dry before being used for creating handicrafts.

Beyond this the papyrus thins into a strip of wetlands that skirts Lake Naivasha and in which thrive mosquitoes, other insects, birds, little fish, and more water plants. A rickety old wooden jetty spans the width of this section, leading to the lake proper, made as red as the soil that surrounds it - we are told due to a combination of pollution from the local flower industry and churning up by the recent heavy rains. From the slight elevation that I am currently at, the lake seems to stretch at an odd angle, upwards to meet the mountains that border the horizon and, in turn, greet the cumulus populated sky. Quite an idyllic setting.

While I've been sitting here I've had to get Hero to pick two different types of weird caterpillars off my back, and also to remove four different spiders that crawled their creepy legs onto me. FREAKS me out but I think I am coping okay with all the buglife so far 😊


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