Lake Nakuru Park
by Juliana Serafin
We left Baby Centre this morning at 6:30 am to visit Lake Nakuru National Park. Joseph and our other driver/guide drove the Toyota vans equipped for safaris, meaning the top of the van can be raised up about 2 feet so that you can stand up and have an unobstructed view out the sides. Joseph and the other drivers are experts on birds/animals/plants. The lake is very alkaline, so it’s not used as a water source by humans, but there are plenty of birds and animals there. The lake is famous for being a home to thousands of flamingos, but there are many other birds also. It took us about 4 hours to reach the Lake Nakuru Lodge on the other side (20 km) because we were busy spotting and photographing wildlife. Here’s a list of what we saw:
Mammals: baboons, Thompson’s gazelle, water buffalo, hippo, impala, female lion, zebra, Rothschild giraffe, water buck, white rhino, warthogs, Colobus monkey, rock hibex
Reptiles: agama lizards (males are blue and orange and females brown), monitor lizard
Birds: ostrich, flamingo, white pelican, pink pelican, cormorants, Egyptian geese, spoonbills, yellow-billed cranes, Maribou storks, hammock, ibis, sacred ibis, blue starlings, egrets, grey-headed goose, saddle billed stork, spoffle, pied crow, swallows
The Lake Nakuru Lodge was fabulous. The small restaurant by the pool gave us a view of the hills and lakes that was fabulous. The landscaping was beautiful. They had grown flowering vines up into giant euphonia and other trees. Like all Kenyan buildings there was a gate with a fence around the lodge, but in this case it was to keep the wildlife from coming too close.
Lisanne and Julianne did not go with us, but spent the day with a Kenyan family (Staci’s in-laws) finding out what Kenyan women do in a typical day on their family farm. They learned to make chipati, the Indian bread that is a staple here, and carried water to the house.
On the way back to Nakuru (4 km from the park) we stopped to shop for snacks to take with us to Masai Mara. Nancy Chandler made dumplings for the 3 chickens we got earlier, and we were all happy and content.
For a full recap of the UC trip to Kenya, make sure to visit: http://www.ucwvstudyabroad.com/UCWVabroad/Road_to_Kenya.html