Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Safari - Lake Nakuru

We are usually a day or two behind in posting to the blog after an experience. This blog entry was ready several days ago, but we have not had Internet for quite awhile. More details later, and we will be catching up with the posts soon. //. Lake Nakuru is famous for the half a million flamingos who supposedly live here. However, I think you see more flamingos during the opening credits of the old tv show Miami Vice than we did here. Regardless of that disappointment, there were a ton of birds to see and some other great wildlife experiences for us. For instance, we saw our first leopard! We have now seen all of Africa's "Big Five", having seen elephant, rhino, lion, african buffalo, and now leopard. We were not that close, but it was cool. You may not be able to tell that well from the photo, but it's in there (left side of tree).

We got to see the colobus monkey, which is a threatened species, and kind of unusual coloring. Our guide spotted these guys in the tree as we were driving by. So many of our guides continue to amaze us how they spot hidden wildlife, while maneuvering windy gravel roads at the same time. Both of us are pretty much in agreement neither of us would make very good safari guides.

We again got to be close up with rhinos. These guys were having a snack on the side of the road when we drove by, munching in the wet grass.

We saw a third subspecies of giraffe, the Rothschilds giraffe: notice the white "socks" and spot pattern.

We went up to a lookout point and had great views of the lake. There were lots of baboons up there and despite multiple signs asking people not to feed them, there was a group of Chinese tourists feeding them. We saw a huge male baboon, but also a little baby one climbing on the picnic bench.

We had more lion experiences, seeing one sleeping in a tree ......

three of them just hanging out......

and another one eating ...a babboon! So cool!

I am pretty sure it wasn't one of the baboons we saw earlier at the lookout. There were also more zebra, some jackals, and lots of birds to see at the ark. Each of our hotels on safari so far have been interesting lodges, especially the way they make the hotel fit the landscape. Our hotel at Lake Nakuru had lots of little chalets on a hillside that overlooked the lake. Very pretty. The food on safari has generally been really good. However, a lot of meals have been buffet and we have not been doing well with portion control - add that to sitting in a car all day, and we are both starting to feel quite round. //. Now that we've had Bedan as our driver/guide for a few days, we have a better understanding of his driving technique. The first day was painful how slow he was going, and this continued for the first half of day 2. But then things picked up. Our first time on unpaved roads the speed seemed to increase. Then he actually was driving fast (well, normal speed) on pavement on day 3. We now believe that his driving speed is based upon his intended arrival time. He slows down if he thinks we will get somewhere too early. For instance, the first day at Aberdares/ark we had a timed tour and we were the first to arrive, an hour early. Luckily, the timing thing seems to be less of an issue now.


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