Day 22 LAKE NAKURU to SAMBURU

The Sarova Lion Hill Lodge is lovely and we have visitors at breakfast…African Speke’s Weavers.

1_spekes_weaver

They have made nests outside the main hall at Lion Hill, so we get to enjoy their antics before our game drive. 

1_weaver_and_nest

Lake Nakuru National Park is small and quite unique.  It is a refuge right beside the city of Nakuru–like having a huge natural zoo at your back door.  Almost all species of African animals live here except the elephant.  Because it is next to the city, there is no way to contain the huge elephants.  They pretty much go whereever they want, so they would endanger the people in town.  We plan a full morning before we must head off to our next lodge.  We start in the yellow acacia forest and find our olive baboon friends, again. 

1_baboon_in_yellow_acacia

Then a real treat—a beautiful Long-crested Eagle.  It’s early morning so it is watching for prey, usually a rodent.

2_eagle

We move toward Lake Nakuru—bird central– and find an old tree “decorated” with yellow-billed storks.

2yellow_bill_stork

Near the lake, Sacred Ibis crown the yellow acacias,

2_sacred_ibis

And a Sacred Ibis lift-off from the lake.  This is a grand sight.

2_ibis_lift_off

Then  we see a Hammerkrop wading at the shore. It is named because the feathers on the back of it head resemble a hammer.  

3_hammerkrop

Flamingos reflect across the lake as they take flight.  

3_flamingo_lift_off

Nakuru is an alkaline lake and is one of the prime viewing areas for lesser and greater flamingos. Flamingos are attracted here becuase the soda lake produces the Spiruina algae. This food source also produces the pink of their plumage.   When they dry their feathers we can appreciate the spectacular display.

3_flamingo_reflectionj_best

Beside the flamingos, we have a mélange of other water birds—Maribou stork, Great Cormorants, Egyptian Geese, heron and gray-headed gulls in flight and on the ground. 

3_flamingo_melange

This is a birder’s paradise.  There are large numbers of pelicans.

5_many_pelicans

And they put on a synchronized swimming show

5_plicans_swim

As they nosh along the shore—it is still breakfast time, after all.


The African spoonbill (no queston how he got his name) uses his adapted bill to sieve food from the mud.

4_spoonbill

A yellow-billed duck (again, naming follows form) swims by us.

4_yellow_beaked_duck

And an Egyptian Goose also looks for food in the shallows.

4_egyp_goose_reflect

The lake is a focus of life at Nakuru.  Zebra cross our road in an area that may soon be cut off as the water rises. 

4_zebra_reflect

Finally, we see our first Rothchild’s Giraffe walking near the water …times three!  Note the white legs.  This is one of the most endangered giraffe species and Lake Nakuru is one of the few places we find some of only a few hundred still in the wild. 

5_giraffe

Once again, a plug for scheduling extra time in Nairobi: beside the Sheldrick Elephant Orphanage, try to visit the Giraffe Manor, a Rothchild Giraffe sanctuary, if you can.  Giraffe can stick their head in your window while you sip morning coffee.  Again we didn’t leave enough time to schedule a night.  Unfortunately, we got this information from others who had made the stop.  We now know you also can go for a day trip!

As we head back to the woodlands we find another Rothchild Giraffe herd with a young calf.

7_giraffe_family

And an olive baboon is beside the road nursing a tiny baby.

6_nursing_baboon

A bit farther, a white rhino is grazing in the grass.  He walks right beside our car, totally ignoring us. 

7_white_rhino_grazing

We need to head back to our cabin at the lodge before lunch.   

9_nakuru_cabin

I found this pink trumpet vine by the pool.

9_star_flowr

We’re heading off to our next lodge at Larsen’s Tented Camp, in eastern Kenya, near the Somali border.  Nakuru gives us a final gift…a black rhino stands on the edge of the riverine woodland as we leave.  We would have stayed here another day!

10_blk_rhino

As we head to our next location in eastern Kenya’s Samburu National Reserve, we pass more local shops, like this butchery with meat hanging in the window.  Oh, yummm.

11_butchery

Continuing through the Riff Valley, we see a geyser in Kenya’s geothermal fields.  Although Kenya has for long depended on hydropower for electricity needs, it also is investing in alternative native sources of energy, such as geothermal and wind.

12_geothernal

Then a quick stop at Thomson’s Falls, a 243 ft scenic waterfall on the Ewaso Ng’iro river.

13_thompsons_falls

We cross the equator.

14_equator_1

Then enjoy a beautiful sunset…on the road.

15_sunset

This should have been a good thing.  However, it get’s a bit uncomfortable (read menacing) here.  Obviously we are behind schedule and traveling after dark.  It seems the eastern part of Kenya has become a haven for Somali immigrants.  These people are predominantly Muslim, have caused some problems for Kenya, and are forming their own poor isolated enclaves.  So Kenya has brought in armed troops all over the area, placed spiked barriers on the roads and military check points.  We were supposed to be within the Samburu National Reserve by sundown.  Arriving after dark, the border guards in the town of Archers’s Post Gate don’t want to let us through.  We wait for about 30 minutes while the issue is sorted out.  Our guides tell us not to stare at people in the village—who are not smiling as they stare at us– and definitely NO cameras, no pictures.  Young boys throw rocks at one car in our group and break a window.  Money is exchanged and we pass through.  Whew!  We arrive at a lovely tented camp… another world.

 

Advertisements

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s