Drive to Lake Nakuru - Day 7 - Thursday, January 08, 2004

We spent six hours driving south across the equator again, then headed west to Lake Nakuru which is in the Great Rift Valley (stretches from Lebanon to Malawi). Along the way, we passed through coffee and tea plantations, small towns, even smaller villages, and managed to see another rainbow. The country is very poor outside Nairobi, but everyone has a ready smile. We took some pics along the way to capture slice of life. In areas without central water (which are many outside of the major cities), fresh water is brought from a well via donkey and foot. School kids wear uniforms and get to go home for lunch. Walking and bicycling is the main form of transportation because cars and gas are so expensive. Bikes are used like we use cars – to transport lots of stuff from the store. Women have very strong necks and seem to be able to carry double their body weight atop their heads. Even outside the tribal villages, the countryside is strewn with people grazing their cattle. They drive their goats, cows, and sheep on any piece of public land for grazing and spend the day finding fresh grass.

The sun peeked through the clouds today just as we arrive early afternoon at the lodge. We managed to sneak in some time in the sun for a ½ hour before our game drive at 4pm. The terrain is still green here due to recent rains, but it generally dry, savannah-like conditions. The Yellow Fever acacia trees are taller than the acacia trees up north, and as the name connotes, their bark is used to treat Yellow Fever.

Lake Nakuru National Park is famous for its large concentration of white and pink flamingos. The entire shoreline around the lake was strewn with them. The sun went behind the clouds most of the afternoon, so no great shots, but they certainly were beautiful! We spotted our first White Rhino today, but were not that impressed. They just chow down on grass and don’t move around much. Big horns though… Another first time sighting was of the Rothchild Giraffe that has a different pattern than the ones we saw at the other parks. Same graceful beast, same grazing habits. There was also a large contingency of pelicans. These guys are just HUGE!!! We passed much of the same game seen at the other parks: Cape buffalo, all sorts of antelope, warthogs, common zebra, superb starling, etc. We ended the game drive with a scenic lookout point of the valley.

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