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6 day safari

sunny 22 °C

Oh my god how gutting! I had just written a HUGE blog about everything we have done over the past week and it all just deleted!!!! So lets start again shall we? Sorry that it won't be quite as good, long or detailed but maybe that is what you all want!
We went to stay with some of Nick and Nina's friends in lake Naivasha before our safari which was so nice, I got stuck in the mud during a walk on the lake side, and lost one of my brand new flip flops! So annoyed but if anyone ever finds it think of me!!! We also went to Hell's Gate NP, where they did sketches for the Lion King, so you can imagine just how beautiful it is, and we did a really cool gorge walk, where the water flows out of the volcano, and in some places it is ice cold, while in others you burn your fingers, it was wierd! But then the drama started. We got stuck, while driving out. We tried going up a really sandy, steep bit and couldn't, so reversed back down and ended up in a ditch on the side of the track where the water runs. There were wheels spinning and I thought we had broken the car (which isn't ours!) So we called for help and then waited an hour for this 4x4 to turn up with a piece of wire to attach to us. It was so stressful, they couldn't get it out for ages, then it came out without a scratch, I was so relieved! But the track was aweful, and our 4x4 just couldn't do parts of it, so we had to be helped up a lot. After abot 2 hours we were fully safe, and I have never been so worried in my life, I thought we had written it off, or damaged it really badly or something, but it is absolutely fine! Funny moment was that Rocky was wandering around int he hottest part of the day without a shirt on and no suncream, so got really burnt and we all laughed at him!!!
The very next morning we set off on our 6 day safari to the Rift Valley lakes and the Masai Mara. The first lake was a 6 hour drive away and we had lunch on the side of the road on the way, at the equator, so I can tick that off my list! Did the usual photos and got harassed by shop owners, it was like being back in Diani!! We got to the campsite at Lake Baringo, our first stop, pitched tents, and then went on an afternoon boat ride on the lake. We saw hippos and crocodiles and got the coolest photo of an eagle snatching a fish off the surface of the lake. We couldn't leave our tents after dark cos the hippos wander around at night, and we were about 50m from the lake edge!!
The second day was easily the best, we went to Lake Bogoria in the morning, where we saw our first flamingos, and also the hot springs which the lake is famous for. It was a really cool place, the springs are so hot, and supposedly the steam is good for you, so while we were there, a whole load of Kenyans turned up got topless and stood in the steam, so obv Rocky joined in!! It's weird cs the steam is really really hot, but then you get a cold breeze from the hills to cool you down again. We got a flat tyre at the Lake, and then on the way to the Nakuru campsite we were staying at, we stopped on the side of the road, and they put water in the engine, which i sunder the front seats. Cos you don't put water in a hot engine, it all went mental, spray and steam all over the inside of the van, soakin gall our stuff and generally not a success!!! But the afternoon made up for it, cos we went to Lake Nakuru NP, which was my favourite place that I have been to so far. There were thousands of flamingos, and you could walk right up to the water's edge to see them. We also aw black and white rhino, which I hadn't seen before, and we were taken up to the viewpoint, which is just breathtaking. You can see the whole lake and all the flamingos, I could have stood there for hours. Our van was also attacked by the baboons up there so we were stuck for a while but Rocky was loving it!! We went pretty much straight to bed when we got back cos it was FREEZING. Coldest night so far in Kenya.
The next day we met up with 10 other people for the Masai Mara part of the safari, and were put in a big truck thing, with windows, not as good as the van but still cool! We had a mini game drive through to our camp and saw 8 lion, plus a really little baby giraffe, so cute! So that was a good start. We did a full day game drive the following day, which was wierdly exhausting. Left camp at 7.45 and didn't get back till 6.45 that evening. But was saw: ellies (incl some reallty little babies!), dik dik, impala, both types of gazelle, 4 cheetah, plus their kill being ripped to pieces by vultures! Wilderbeast, crocs, eland, zebra, topi, warthog, hyena, giraffe, hippo, buffalo and a lion. So all pretty good really! There was a camp fire waiting for us when we got bak as well, and I was shattered.
Just to help the tiredness, we were up at 5.45 the next morning for an early morning game drive, but oh was it worth it! We found a mother and son cheetah who started fighting and playing around and under our truck, it was so cool. Then they tried to hunt, which the tourists don't really get to see, so we were all really happy even though they failed! We also saw a lioness eating her kill, a lone black rhino and then another with a baby, cool cos they are really rare in the Mara, and 5 more lions. We came back to camp after that for brunch and so that people could go to a Masai village. Rocky went but I slept and sunbathed cos I have done the whole Masai thing before! He had a really good time and got some cool dancing photos like mine. We slpet after lunch then went on another game drive where the leopard hunting began! I was desperate to see one cos it is the only thing I haven't seen. We spent ages looking for one and eventually found it!!!! I couldn't get a photo in time but I saw it, Rocky didn't which was a bummer but I was so happy! We saw another 10 lions and some ellies on the way back to camp, but we think some of the lions were the same ones as earlier. We had another camp fire in the evening, and got attacked by termites which had infested the sink area and bit us so many times!
Our last day on safari ended with another little game drive as we left the park. Saw some jackals, 3 more lion, a baby giraffe, and a load of the smaller game, then we were out of the gate. Ah sad. It was nice to get back to Karen though, we bought some supplies and then crashed in front of the ashes!! Wish I hadn't after watching both Ponting and Katich get centuries. Bummer. Both fell asleep really early, but then were both awake at 7, the next morning!
Our activites don't end there however! The very next day we set off to go back to Lake Naivasha to house-sit for another of Nick and Nina's friends. Her house is amazing, there are giraffes just wandering around her garden! We spent the weekend being lazy and watching DVDs, but we did climb a mountain. That is 2 I have climbed now, what is going on?! It was only an hour's climb and it is a volcano, so when you reach the top you are suddenly looking down on this massive crater, plus the views over Lake Naivasha were awesome. We had our breakfast, then Rocky said he was gonna go for a wander around the ridge (you can walk the whole way around the crater edge) so I thought he would be gone for maybe 20 mins. Nope, and hour and half he was gone! I thought he was dead or something, but he had walked to the top peak about halfway round, then come back. Again he had been shirtless and no suncream so guess what?? More burning to laugh at! Otherwise is was a pretty uneventful weekend, I broke my iPod which sucks but oh well. ( Don't go mad Mum).
Well that is it everyone. We are now planning our trip to Uganda and are probably leaving on Friday at about 11 ish. Will be there for maybe 1 or 2 weeks, then come back to Nairobi (yes that is Nairobi not Karen!) via Western Kenya, lake Victoria and all that, and then go to the coast to finish the trip. I only have 6 weeks left of my gap year, that is kinda scary that it has gone so quickly. I am having such an amazing time and I still miss you all loads but I wouldn't change this for the world.
Lots of love xxxxxxx

Posted by emmabanham 01:14 Archived in Kenya

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