January 14th to 17th
14.01.2019 - 17.02.2019 30 °C
Lake Nakuru and Bogoria
These next four days we spent at Lake Nakuru and Lake Bogoria both known as places we would see flamingoes. Dana has had a fascination with flamingos since her childhood so being someplace we would see them closely. We chose to do this trip with the safari company called Kenya Walking Survivors who are also going to take us on our 12 day safari with Yazi starting on January 21st. To our delight we got the tour guide/driver of our choice, Benson for both our trip to see the flamingoes and also for our longer safari. I had read some reviews that made me think that Benson would be perfect for us and indeed he is! His patience and kindness are so evident and his thirty years of experience leading safaris, as well as his amazing knowledge of the animals and their interactions with each other really have added so much to our safari.
We arrived latish on the first afternoon and after discovering it was going to cost $140 US to have an evening game drive, we decided instead to go and visit a place Chris had always wanted to see called the Menengjai Caldera which is just outside of the town of Nakuru. It is a very large volcanic feature that is also a site of a major geothermal power project. Chris was really happy to see this.
This photo only captures a tiny little bit of the huge caldera
Dana had booked a very simple and inexpensive “home stay” which is where you stay in a bedroom in someone’s house. It took ages to find as google maps was a bit off in locating it and finally we found Nancy who was a local teacher in the area. It was simple and spare but we did manage to sleep. The photograph of the room that had been initially posted on airbnb bared little resemblance to the room we slept in. We enjoyed Nancy’s company and she was very accommodating of our needs.
Our day in Lake Nakuru began with seeing many buffaloes heading towards the fresh water near Lake Nakuru. To our delight there two black rhinos, mother and child coming to the water hole with a lot of buffalo. It was a beautiful scene with the golden morning sun. It was really wonderful to be with Benson our tour guide as each time we encountered animals or birds he would freely explain what was actually happening, where they were going and why they were doing what there were. We learned and understood so much more than we had previously.
On the way to the flamingoes we encountered two white rhino grazing not far from the road. These animals are very endangered due mostly to animal poachers so it was a delight to them healthy and safe.
We spent a long time with the flamingoes watching all the action. They are such interesting birds. There were both lesser and greater flamingoes, the greater being the larger ones which have pink legs and beaks and whitish feathers and the lesser being much pinker.
When flamingoes fly that is when you see the fullness of their gorgeous colours!
At one point there were very few vehicles left where the flamingoes were and it gave me a chance to go out with the park ranger to see some flamingoes in the distance that usually people are not allowed to go out to. I love this photo as it gives a sense of the amount of activity that is going on in the scene.
Once satiated with these elegant pink birds we drove on to see more animals in the park including several lions, lots of giraffes, antelopes and some hippos. It feels like such a priviledge to see these animals in the wild and really we don’t know how long they will survive given all the pressures that exist these days.
Throughout the day we saw very large herds of buffalo.
As we drove by Lake Nakuru there were many very old buffalo just resting in the grass.
This park is unique in that it has the “Rothschild” giraffe, which has been very endangered actually getting to just 180 animals left on the planet. Through a breeding program the numbers have increased to over 600. We saw a herd of probably 20 loping along in their graceful way when we were there, which was heart warming.
The next morning, Benson picked us up bright and early to head off to Lake Bogoria. It felt like a long trip and we were happy to arrive at our accommodation which was a few steps up from Nakuru. We stayed at the Lake Bogoria resort and spa and had a beautiful room. There was an outside spa pool that was filled with healing waters natural springs nearby. After a delicious buffet supper we headed off to the pool for an evening swim as it was warm before going to bed. The next day we entered the Lake Bogoria national park and within minutes were were watching flamingoes. Interestingly enough, the flamingoes would gravitate away from us wherever we stood keeping their ground. Luckily Dana had her long lens to photograph with.
On lake Bogoria, there were a number of Desert Rose trees in bloom which were gorgeous.
We spent the day driving up the lake and stopping wherever there were flocks of flamingoes on the shore as well as other animals, birds and some hotsprings. The scenery was stunning with the old dead tree trunks in the water siloutted against the calm blue lake.
Benson, just taking in the beauty of the environment while we explored the hot spring area
We saw some lesser kudu along the way and here is a photo of them. They are very attractive. These were females, and the males that we didn’t see have very long and curly horns. We hope to see more on a travels.
We ended the day going back to the main gate where we first saw the flamingoes that morning and I spent two hours watching and photographing them in the lovely evening light. It was really a delight as I was able to see how they were interacting and all the comings and goings of the flock.
I noticed that the flamingoes were doing some sequential wing opening from time to time that evening and discovered later that this is part of their mating rituals! It was amazing to witness.
There was also a steady stream of local people who were walking home to their very modest huts mostly made of corrugated metal. Benson told us that the people in this area had refused to move when they created the park as they wanted to live peacefully with the animals. And that is what they do.
We spent our last night at the resort and enjoyed the comfort and ease of staying there. The next morning we headed off on the long journey back to Nairobi on the very bumpy road some of it being paved, though you wouldn’t thing it would be such a rough ride and some of it gravel. Yazi was arriving tonight and would head out to the airport to pick her up.