KenyaWritten by admin on December 5th, 2008
There is fairly little to say about our drive down to Nairobi. The first 500km from Moyale to Isiolo is crap dirt road, which we were at least prepared for. However, the constant rattling and pummelling, resulted in Bob’s power steering pump packing up, which we got a quick fix repair for at the end of our first day of driving and will have to see how long this holds out before the expense of a new one. Then after day two we spent hours replacing worn bushes on the rear shocks and seals on the two front wheels, leaving only cracked rear shock brackets and an exhaust bracket to weld in Nairobi.
Felicity was also not feeling great and driving on rubbish roads in the heat and then late nights while we worked on the vehicle was not what she needed. So all in all we were relieved to finally be in the green and almost English countryside suburbs to the north of Nairobi where we met with some of our colleagues today and had a very welcome and delicious steak dinner to finish the day off.
Friday 19 November
We spent the day visiting a local hospital and orphanages. The backgrounds of some of the kids who are supported and cared for here are truly horrific and unimaginable! The kids themselves are generally very friendly and happy; their big smiles covering up deep scars.
At the end of the day we made the short drive to Lake Nakuru National Park.
Saturday 20 November
An early start to the day for a morning game drive. Nakuru is quite a small park set around the lake, but its combination of open areas, fever tree forests and rocky ridges make it attractive. In addition to the thousands of pelicans and flamingos that Nakuru is well-known for, we had seen plenty of buffalo and rhino, some spotted hyena, hippos and a large number and good diversity of general game animals by lunch time.
We then went up to Baboon Cliffs picnic site, which has a great view over the lake, for a braai (BBQ) and with the intention of relaxing for a few hours. Lunch was great, but our cooking and Bob drew the attention of a number of the other visitors who had come to take photos from the lookout. Bob (and to a lesser extent us) now has his photo with a number of random people from various countries.
The food also drew the attention of a large troop of very persistent and quite aggressive baboons. They managed, through a series of raids, to steal lunches and picnics off a number of people’s tables, tore bags from a couple of people’s hands and raided a couple of cars. However, Marc sat with his knobkiri (club) and the occasional swing, or movement, when they looked like they were going to mount an attack seemed to be enough to convince them that he may use it and that beefburger and sausage for today’s lunch may not be worth the risk.
After a bit of searching in the afternoon we found an adult male lion and lioness mating near the lake. A great sighting and for quite a while with no other vehicles there.
Sunday 23 November
Today’s game drive took us into a herd of Buffalo, who didn’t look too pleased that we were there as they gradually inched closer to the vehicle looking like they were about to charge!
We headed for West Kenya in the afternoon and to a rural village called Kimili where we visited a community outreach project. This is a great project and both of us were very impressed with the work that they are doing and how sustainable it is. Felicity had to fight back tears when we visited one house (mud hut), where 8 young boys live whose parents had died of AIDS and they were left to fend for themselves. The house they lived in was tiny and had next to nothing in it. The project was helping to fund their schooling, had given them a guardian who would help to look after them and provided them with the basics that they needed to survive. Other great work that they did involved putting in water springs, so that the villages could access clean water, building homes and also running a vocational centre to teach skills, so that they could earn an income and provide for their families. Marc had visited the project a few years ago, so it was nice to return and see the difference that the project had made in the local community.