We left at 8 am to leave for Lake Nakuru from Masai Mara and had to face the
grind of the roads which, surprisingly was much easier than when we came
back... Maybe it was the sun whch irritated us when we were driving to the
Mara. On the way back the day was just perfect for a drive - really pleasant
climate and cool breeze ...
We were moving towards the Northern Hemisphere and the journey beyond the 86
kms was quite good.. Road was nice and we reached the Lion's Gate Lodge
around 2pm and again had to rush for lunch since the schedule was to leave
at 4 pm for the flamingoes and rhinos.
Lake Nakuru is a place known for flamingoes, pelikans and storks - it is
said there are over 450 species of birds here - though we could not see even
45 diff types. It is also known for baboons and of course the rhino reserve.
Baboons r a diff species of monkeys. Their one scratch can make a human very
We saw a huge flock of flamingos and pelicans on the banks of the lake and
also baboons on the way to the lake.. From there we went to the other part
where we saw 2 rhinos and from there to baboons cliff - the view was awesome
from there of the entire stretch of the lake and the hills... Beautiful
We felt this place could hv been skipped...but the issue was that the
journey from Masai Mara to Sweetwaters (our next destination) would hv been
way too long to cover at a stretch - arnd 600 kms...hence the break was
We were living on salads and breads for last 3 days - of course we did get
veg and jain food but somehow the taste was not to our liking...though we
shd not complain since it was much better than expected.
We started at 8 again and headed further South towards Nanyuki (town in whch
SweetWaters Tent Camp was located)and the great thing was we passed thru the
equator... We took a break at 0 deg latitude (place whch they claimed where
the equator was passing thru)and we had a great demo of how the whirl of the
water changes its direction in north, south and at equator!! He took us
northwards and poured water into a bowl with a small hole for water to pass
thru and put a matchstick into it. The matchstick moved around in clockwise
direction in the container. Then he took us to the south of 0 deg... And
again repeated the above..now the matchstick swirled anti-clockwise....Mind
boggling isn't it?!
Then we went to exact 0 deg and repeated the experiment once again - now the
matchstick did not swirl at all but just kept floating!! Great thing to
experience ... Yes, we had officially been at the centre of the earth!!!
We moved further down South for another 70+ kms and then started another
stretch of terrible road.. 19 kms. We were gettng restless by the massage
our bodies were gettng on these roads but our guide-driver told us its worth
the pains since the place is simply awesome and the experience one of its
kind. This stretch of 19 kms was a private field whch we were cutting across
(as a short cut - normal road wd hv made our journey by an hour longer) but
the length of the entire wide barren field was just unimaginable - it was
simply huge..We did not realise what our guide told us till we reached there
arnd 1.30pm. It was a beautiful property on a huge expanse of barren land
with tents.. But what was exciting was that our tents were right next to the
jungle - I mean it was arnd 20 mtrs between our tent and the jungle (and it
was not the dense type - but the Savannah type).. So sitting in our tent we
could see the animals moving around... Obviously that area was huge and the
animals were scattered far and wide... But there was a water body in front
of our tent so lots of birds were coming to drink water and so were the
animals.. In fact some large different species of birds used to move around the
restaurant as well. The gazelles were constantly moving around in front of
our tents and so were the wild boars.. They had lions, leopards, rhinos,
african elephants, jackals, etc - all inside the area of 80000 acres (yes,
80k - I hv not added a zero by mistake). Since this was privately owned (as
opposed to Mara whch is an open jungle and belongs to the govt) they had put
transmitters inside the lions and few other animals so that they could track
them during game drives. Lion tracking was $45 per person and entire night
safari was $90 per person but we did not do it since we had already seen all
of these at the Mara and tht too naturally - without any transmitters.
From safety point of view they had dug a 3 feet deep pit and put a fence of
the same height whch was electrocuted... - whch means there was no
obstruction of sight and the ground was at the same level...Believe me the
width of the pit was not going to stop the beasts from jumping over to our
side. It was an experience of a life time- such a thrilling one - only the
thought of it - even if we do not spot any animal - isn't it?
We had to leave at 3 pm to go to a chimps sanctuary - it was owned by a US
lady and funded by her... There were 41 chimps and 250 acres of area for
them!! What luxury!!
These were divided in 2 grps since we were told both these grps cannot stand
each other and would hv a fight if kept together. But apart from this they r
quite social - infact one of the group had a grandmother (age of 27) and a
new born of 7 days!!
Apart from groupism, they hv another 98% traits whch r like humans -
basically, they r just 1 chromosome away from humans. I hv taken pics of
some more interesting facts whch they had put up there.. U guys can check
with me for these if interested
Chimps live upto an age of arnd 45 yrs to the max ..and feed on corns and
From there we were heading to a rhino park - on the way we saw 2 white
rhinos (white not bcoz of its colour - its grey only - but bcoz of the way
its mouth is shaped.. Its wide. But in 18th century, the dutch settlers
pronounced wide as 'white' and since then it came to be known as white
rhino). The rhino park - The Olepetja Conservancy' was a place for just one
rhino - 'Baraka' who was a 17 yrs old black rhino but completely blinded.
One of his eye was missing since birth and second one had developed
cateract!! It was an area of 40+ acres, had 11 people to attend to him and
a Vet who wd fly from US on a call!!
Baraka has to be seen to be believed.. Close to 1.5 tonnes (normally black
rhinos weigh between 700 kgs to 1 ton) and he was almost 6 feet long. We
could touch him, feed him and had a ball - especially the kids!!
It also had an information centre where there were amazing facts and items
about not only rhinos but lot of other animals. We saw skins, skeletons of
so many diff animals, ostrich etc. There were 20k rhinos in kenya in 1970,
1800 in 1980 and only 400 by 2000 ... however, now it has gone upto 650 due
to the efforts of people.
From there we returned to our camp and the place looked beautiful in the
night... We were moving towards our tent and just 15 feet away from us was
the rhino drinking water in the waterbody !! Great!!!
We decided to have the Glen and GG outside the tent and organised
everything.. What happened next was the most thrilling experience - we
suddenly saw a group of gazelles sprint away and we were not sure why was
that.. We spotted a lioness running behind these gazelles.. What a sight!!
Maybe due to our noise the lioness retreated back into the dark... But I m
sure we had the best moment of our life - we may not be able to experience
the same again!
The day started with a beautiful sunrise... When we were getting ready to
move, we saw a giraffe come towards our side... And it came again very close
to our tent and was stretching himself for a long time... We headed to the
restaurant for breakfast and left from there after shpng at souvenir shop.
Then was the most amazing experience at the Mt Kenya Orphanage. This was
arnd 25 kms frm Sweetwaters and inside Fairmont Resorts... Mind blowing
property - we had earlier planned to stay here as well but it was really
exorbitant and hence skipped it. But what we did inside orphanage was
awesome. We saw BONGO - a typical species of antelope whch is now extinct
and only seen inside this orphanage in the whole world. We fed gazelles,
rode on 100 year old turtles, moved arnd the park with the ostrict, fed one
diff species of monkey on our shoulder!! We also saw a cross breed of horse
and zebra and is called zebroid.... Its brown in colour. We saw dwarf
antelopes, dwarf hippos, a giant (arnd 2.5 feet tall) owl... The place whch
we thght we could skip - we ended up spending more than 2 hrs...
We left from there towards Nairobi. Reached at 7.30 pm after 2 hrs of dirty
and dusty traffic near the city... This place is really
underdeveloped...when u look arnd u see lot of poverty and things happening
the way it used to happen 20 yrs back maybe! I had got this feelng on
arrival itself at the airport..
We stayed at Hotel Boulevard whch was really below std but since we had to
spend less than 12 hrs there we did not mind.
We left at 530 am from hotel...our flight was at 9 to Jo'burg and from there
to Cape Town at 3 pm.