Tuesday, August 25, 2009
Lake Nakuru and on to Masai Mara
Posted by Susan
After what seemed like a very long drive (only 3 ½ hours), we arrived at lunchtime at the Lake Nakuru Lodge. It is located in the heart of Kenyan wetlands, which is a misnomer due to the drought. The highlight of this area was to be the birds, especially the flamingos. The lake had receded so far that we drove on the lakebed very close to the shore. Dead bird bones were everywhere. They usually have over two million birds migrate to the lake and this year they had about 200,000.
We did see several white Rhinos, lots f Cape Buffalo, and a few Rothschild’s giraffes (endangered species) at the park.
This was the worst accommodations we have had to date. The rooms were dark and you could not open the doors at night so I roasted (no windows in the room!). The lunch we had when we arrived was in a dining hall that was very uninviting and the buffet smelled of sterno. We chose not eat dinner and asked for a plate of cheese and fruit. You would have thought we asked for the moon. If you ever travel to this location, do not stay here.
We could not wait to leave at 8:00AM for our six hour drive to Mara. The lodge provided a box lunch which we gave to some needy people on the drive and we stopped at a nice restaurant. We had a van pit stop to blow all the dust off the engine so the van could maintain the 80KMP: a governor is located on the vehicle. We did 80KMH on one of the worst roads we have encountered on the trip but when we entered into Mara, it was magical because we found lions…several sleeping and one black-maned who was strolling and stopped to roar which elicited a response from far away.
This place is difficult to describe because there is forest, green bushes and long golden grass. The elevation is a mile high and has more rain than most areas of the country. We experienced our first rain around 4:30 PM which was a short burst of heavy rain and then blue sky. It has wide vistas that we tried to capture in our photos but it is impossible.
We saw 1000’s of zebra’s, lots of elephants, buffalos, waterbucks, warthogs, baboons, impala, and giraffes and over a million wildebeest. We met a man from Italy who was here last year at the same time and he said there are half as many animals here now due to the drought and out guide said the same thing.