Making our own mark in the safari

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Africa » Kenya » Rift Valley Province » Lake Nakuru NP
September 27th 2011
Published: September 27th 2011
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It is hard to compete with Masai Mara but these two National Parks gave it a good shot. After an endless drive from Masia Mara we arrived to the Lake Nakuru Nation Park and stayed just outside the entrance for the night so we could get in nice and early. One main thing we were hoping to see here is some Rhino which we were not able to locate in Masai Mara and to our luck within the first thirty minutes we were eye to eye with a mother and baby white (indeed they are just white on the nose but have a light gray body) Rhino.

This park has a good number of both black and white rhino, main difference is the white are eating grass mostly and black are eating branches from trees. Each species of Rhino have adapted their mouth to suit, the white is flat to be able to grab as much grass as possible. We got to see a black rhino also but from some distance, they are shyer than the white.

This park is also famous for the amount of flamingo but they seemed to have a different idea for when we visited. Not too many on the lake but the pelicans were in abundant numbers. They are also a pink color here like the flamingo and makes for a great sights when they are all taking off ever so clumsy. Plenty of ‘Pumbas’ to be seen here and they are always good for a laugh, running around in circles looking confused allll the time. Those guys are scared of everything and with the slightest movement there tail is up right and they are running away. We did have some possibility to walk by ourselves in the savanna with the wild animals but it didn’t feel good to know that it is some lions are around this area as well. Well we got really nice shots with ‘Pumbas’ and the birds.

We did get to see some giraffe in Masai Mara but not so close and this NP dealt up around half a dozen within ten meters of the van. These guys are a favorite to watch, so elegant striding through the vegetation in the search for food. It is remarkable to see how far they can stretch their neck. When they strain to reach some high leaves the neck seem to be half the size it normally is when they are relaxed. They are also able to bend the neck in all positions to try and reach the hard to get food. The food they are after is on a bush that is completely packed the one inch long spikes and it must be tricky work trying to grab the good stuff with that tongue of theirs without getting pricked all the time. Have you seen a giraffe in motion?! It is a hilarious view how fast they are running with the long legs and neck.

The last National Park we visited before returning to Nairobi was Hells Gate. What this place lacks in animals it makes up for some spectacular scenery. He it is possible to hire your own bike and to peddle through the park which is great to get out of the van and stretch the legs. What is bad is not realizing that you need to ride all the way back to gate, 7km, uphill, in 35deg heat. However it was amazing to visit the caves and ride the bike all the way. You have possibility to choose if you want to do a cave tour (1, 2 or 3 hours long) and we really recommend go for it. Well we don’t talk about the safely if it exists at all but the scenery is fantastic. It is really physical activity and you’ll be guaranteed rock climbing without security equipment. If you would like to climb the rock face on the way to the caves, do it on the way back if you have still strength.

But anyway the big carnivores are not here from what we were told so that’s where the bikes come into it, although we were told they caught a Leopard in the park a couple of weeks back before our visit. But still to be on the bikes and seeing wildlife around you is a nice experience. It got really good when we were peddling along and came across several giraffe along the side of the road. They didn’t seem to be too worried about us and just kept on eating away. For once we felt like we were part of the wildlife and able to get much closer than before. The zoo is boring compare this life experience.

So, Hells Gate gets the name from a large gorge at the rear of the NP. It is some folk law that back in the day (when it is volcanic active, which was not that long ago) that only at night it would turn red and since it was a crater it looked like doing down into Hell. But the volcanic stuff is long gone but would be pretty cool to see though. The gorge is easy to walk though with a guide and here and there they have hot springs popping and boiling to the surface.

These to parks were an end to our short safari adventure and it could not have gone any better. Our guide was awesome, as well as the other group members.

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