Lake Nakuru

Lake Nakuru National Park

Just outside the town is Lake Nakuru National Park, it’s hard to believe the entrance is a road away from the bustling streets of Nakuru. Our group was split into two micro buses with a lift-up roof for game viewing.

In a short time we had seen number three of the Big 5, a beautiful Black Rhino! Rarer than White Rhinos who have wide mouths, Black Rhinos are smaller, more shy and have pointed noses. Once you have seen both, it is far easier to spot the difference between the two.

Black Rhino

Ahead of us, we saw the Black Rhino clock the other vehicle, take offence for some reason and charge at the back wing of it! The driver took off down the gravel road just as the Rhino reached the gravel, clouds of dust rising into the air. We reversed slowly to give him room, and immediately wished we had videoed the whole episode!

Driving happily around the park, we saw plenty of Zebra and Impala as we headed down to the soda lake. Here we got out to take pictures of the pink Flamingos in the distance, Buffalo at the waters edge and different types of birds.

Buffalo, stalk and flamingoes at Lake Nakuru

At Buffalo Cliff Viewpoint in the park, we stood in the sun overlooking Lake Nakuru. Our guide spotted the one remaining Hippo, who hadn’t died from the salty water. He kind of looked like a log in the water, but we could see his face and nostrils quite clearly through the binoculars!

Hippo in Lake Nakuru

Our driver bombed round the park to a group of safari vehicles gathered underneath a tree (they radio each other when one of the difficult to see animals are spotted). There lazing upon the trunk, snoozing, was a Leopard! We’ve now seen four of the Big 5 in as many days! We were told it is the first time this year a Leopard has been spotted in this park, aour guide hadn’t seen one since November. We stayed forever waiting for him to open his eyes, look up, turn his head and yawn – those with DSLRs got some great shots of the Chui (Leopard – pronounced ‘chewee’) but my iPhone wouldn’t pick him up clearly.

Leopard in a tree

We stopped for lunch at a picnic spot in the park, and these little white and black monkeys ran circles around us! Our guides stood like security around us, armed with rocks, sticks and a plank of wood to keep these super fast monkeys at bay. But it was too late, one launched at the end of the table grabbing both a sarnie and banana in one swoop! One of the guys let out a (hilarious) girly scream and both recoiled in shock as the cheeky little thing took off into the tree tops with someone’s lunch. Everyone ate very fast after that!

We did a lap of Lake Nakuru and spotted a large family of White Rhinos, Waterbuck and a different type of Giraffe, the Rothschild (which is easy to identify with it’s white socks), all moving slowly through the grass.

Waterbuck

Filthy and exhausted we’d all had a great day, and there is still plenty of time to see ‘Simba.’ Note to self: remember spare camera battery and wear a sports bra!

We were offered the chance to upgrade and when I saw the gorgeous, luxurious little chalet I could have all to myself for $40 next to the campsite at the Ziwa Bush Lodge, I just couldn’t resist! I know, I know, it’s a cop out but it felt like a little piece of heaven with the soft, warm, plush double bed and all the mod cons! I used the opportunity to shower, wash clothes, recharge and repack for the next week and help others out where I could. Going from field to luxury I’m truly grateful I don’t live in a dung hut with no proper toilet or shower, as the Maasai’s do. It’s a different world.

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