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I WANT A HIPPOPATAMUS FOR CHRISTMAS....

AND A RHINO, AND A ZEBRA, AND MAYBE TO STAY FOREVER IN AFRICA.

overcast 20 °C

I am writing this just as I have finished a delicious Indian buffet lunch at The Flamingo Tented Camp at Lake Nakuru. It was served with custom made Naan bread cooked in front of us in a Tandor oven Yes, these are the five start tents I was referring to and they did not fail to disappoint. I just have to say that the service so far makes me feel like a character on Downton Abbey. Kenya used to be a British Colony and they seem to have hung on to the formalities. At our last hotel they almost held their breath if we tried to put our own napkin on our laps. Seem to be much the same here. This is not a complaint. Any way, our drive this morning was about 3 hours in our very cool Land Cruiser with our guide Albert. Along the way we passed lots of small villages and the outskirts were certainly poorer than the areas of the city that we saw. Most of the drive was through farm land where coffee grows in the highland and corn in the lower areas. We had an amazing view of the Riff Valley. We passed thousand of goats and sheep and as we got within an hour of Nakuru we saw antelope, impalas and many zebras hanging on the sides of the road. How cool is that? They are so beautiful. Approaching the park, we saw herds of buffalos that are the most aggressive of the park animals.

Our lodgings are gorgeous as are the grounds. The bathrooms are amazing with hot water in the mornings and evening and electricity 24 hours a day. This would be glamping at its finest. As we sit on our beds under the mosquito nets we are listening to our first rain or rather thunder and lightening. It is lovely. Albert assures us that the rains only affect the cats, the rest enjoy the cooling of the air. We can also hear birds and animals that are lurking just outside the gates. Unfortunately we only have one night here.

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We are heading out at 4 pm on our first game drive. Unfortunately because of the changing climate and heavy rains last year much of the park has flooded. The biggest impact is that the millions of flamingos that used to live in the lake have left. Still, we have hopes of seeing some along with the Rothschild giraffes, white and black rhinos and more zebras this afternoon.

Game Drive Number One

I have no idea how to explain what it is like to see animals in the wild. Well obviously we have all seen animals in the wild but to see these animals is amazing. I think it is because I have only ever seen things like these on an episode of Lorne Greene when I was a kid. Let’s just say we had an amazing first adventure. The rain stopped just before we headed out and minus a small shower, it stayed away. The result of that was fresh misty air that was fragrant. Almost as soon as we left our lodge we saw tons of buffalo, baboons, zebra, antelope and impalas. It never ended. Although it is almost unheard of to see a hippopotamus here at Nukuru since the lake came up, guess who spotted one in the middle of a buffalo herd. Me! So cool. His mouth was huge as he munched on the grass. Apparently the animals come out to feed after the rain in order to get the water as well. We were also lucky enough to see a rhino. We lost our minds. This is a white rhino and the only difference between the white and black rhinos are the shape of the mouth not the colour. It is believed that the white rhino was actually called wide rhino for it wide mouth which got translated into white. We actually saw 5 more but from further away. One of the other highlights for the kids was when we were chased by a buffalo. It was hilarious.

We are so glad not to be here with tons of tourists and a million jeeps. We had so much time to stop and stare. We could not have asked for a better day. I have such respect for wildlife photographers because it is impossible to great shots. The animals rarely stay still, you are stretch up over the roof of a jeep and can not get out without taking your life in your hands, we are all moving about and shaking the jeep, water droplets fall on your lens and sometimes you just have to put down your camera and be in awe missing the only possible shot. I did my best.

We are just about to head to supper. We have been provided flashlights but an armed guard will be escorting us just in case we encounter an animal. Too funny. Isaac is beat. He has been smiling from ear to ear all day and really loved the buffalo charging event. He is however absolutely terrified of the spiders in our tent and has been squealing like a girl from the shower for the last 15 minutes. Imagine finding that to be the scariest creature of the day.

The little birds on the backs and head of the buffalo are called oxpeckers and they pick the insects of the buffalo. The monkeys are called vervet monkeys and that poor baby could not get its mother to share her snack. The zebras may have just stolen my heart from the giraffes. Sigh. Tomorrow it is a 6 hours drive the Masai Mara for two. No idea about the internet there. Maybe same as here, just in the lobby. Hakuna matata! (They really say that),

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Posted by curlygirl 10:43 Archived in Kenya Tagged africa safari adventures

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Comments

Ok this trip sounds amazing. Thanks so much for sharing with us along the way, I am really enjoying living vicariously through you and Isaac. That spider thing must run in the family!

by Monique Hogan

Sounds like you are having a awesome trip! Love your pictures, bring it on!

by Catherine Pittman

I thoroughly enjoyed reading your post. Fantastic! I guess I'll gave to visit vicariously through you and Isaac. Safe travels! Kristy

by Kristy Slaney

I swear that picture of the tree is the same one I took at Animal Kingdom last year! LOL I gotta say Shelley tat it looks amazing. Enjoy

by pat

It all sounds so awesome (which I'm sure it is!). You are (and we are, by extension) so fortunate.

by Rob

You two are truly blessed with this adventure - enjoy and keep it coming!

by Agnes Penton

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