"Travel is fatal to prejudice, bigotry, and narrow-mindedness, and many of our people need it sorely on these accounts. Broad, wholesome, charitable views of men and things cannot be acquired by vegetating in one little corner of the earth all one's lifetime." (Mark Twain : The Innocents Abroad, 1869)

Thursday, 8 July 2010

Flamingos & Rhinos

An early(ish) start took us back into town to find the entrance to the Nakuru National Park. As ever, there was a distinct lack of road signs and our guide book vaugely said it was "on the South side of town". After driving through what seemed to be a government / judicial area, we found the imposing entry complex and easily negotiated the gates with our Nairobi Safari Card.

We were soon faced by Lake Nakuru - the NP's main feature. From a distance it seemed to be surrounded by a very fetching pink border. As we drove closer to the lake shore, this resolved itself into thousands of Flamingos wading and feeding in the shallow water about 50 yards off shore. Occasionally, a few would take flight and, in line astern, skim across the water to join another group elsewhere along the shore.

We were joined on the shore by a succession of school buses that disgorged streams of well behaved and smart in uniform children. They seemed mesmerised by the sight before them - running down to the water edge and peering our. We lent them our binoculars for a better view and fairly orderly queues quickly formed - naturally, their teachers jumped straight to the front.

We headed off around the NP in the plain between the water and the trees. It was dotted with game - the usual suspects : Buffalo, Waterbuck, Waterbuck, Baboon, Gazelle, Impala plus the stars : White Rhinos.

Cruising the tracks we search the bush for other animals but no Lion or Leopard or any thing else exciting seemed to be willing to show itself. Traveling up the Eastern edge of the lake we were supposed to see a large Euphorbia forrest on the slope of the hills - but they all seemed to have been reduced to wizzened stumps !

On the way back to camp we stopped off in town - the girls to seek some retail threapy, whilst us boys needed to see to our toys. Both Bob and myself wanted to obtain local SIM cards for our cell phones and I wanted a 'dongle' through which I could access the internet whilst I was in the bush for the rest of my stay. The SIM cards were no problem, neither was the purchase of the dongle. However, sitting in the local posh cafe, there was no way I could get the dongle to work. Hiking back across the street to the Orange shop, its techie guy had a quick look and almost immediately asked me which operating system did my laptop have - Windows or Mac ? Neither I says - its Linux. Sharp intake of breath from the techie. Sorry it won't work with that. I think - Bummer !

No comments: