Travel

Travel Thursday: Lake Nakuru National Park, Kenya

On our way to Nakuru we passed the Equator.

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Passing by the Equator

At this spot you could get a certificate for 500 KES ( 5 €) to prove to the world (show off to your friend’s) you crossed the Equator. There was someone on hand to explain to us that we truly were at the Equator, by conducting an experiment using water and a jug. The point of the whole exercise was to show us the direction of water at the Equator (was still) and on the North (clockwise) and South (anti-clockwise) it was interesting to see and observe. My guest’s got a certificate, I on the other hand thought of my picture at the Equator as my certificate.

Watching the direction of water movement

Watching the direction of water movement

Thereafter we went to Nyahururu to see Thomson falls. It’s about a 70 m drop.That was a sight. The source comes from the Ewaso Ng’iro River.

Thomson Falls, Nyahururu

Thomson Falls, Nyahururu

There was a man with a chameleon and people dressed in traditional wear. For a fee you could take a picture with them and they would give you a show. An entrance fee is required, it was between 50-200 KES ( 50cts- 2€). If you ever visit ; remember you have to negotiate and agree on a price before you take a picture of the chameleon or the people. If you don’t, things could get ugly.

Lake Nakuru National Park is situated in the Great Rift Valley.

L. Nakuru

L. Nakuru

L. Nakuru National Park

L. Nakuru National Park

This great escarpment starts from Jordan and ends in Malawi. It is magnificent to say the least.

Lake Nakuru is also a place where fond memories have been created. It’s the first place I saw flamingos and the first time I had been in a park with a lake.The last time I was there, my mum was celebrating a few decades. My cousin came along for the ride. It was her first trip to Kenya and the continent.The experience was epic for her. I digress.

The place has changed a lot over the years. The last time I was there 4 years ago, the level of water on the lake had risen, but this time the water had risen so much that the main entrance to the park was flooded. Thus, the alkaline lake is almost a fresh water lake. We saw only a handful of flamingos. Back in those days 10 + years ago the lake was fuchsia and laced with pink.

We saw a lion stalking another pride. Apparently, lions with no pride hang around on the sidelines hoping to mate with a lioness. Waiting patiently for the lionesses mate to get exhausted so he can take over. The couple had another male in the picture who later on was chased away, the lonely lion got a friend in the end but not the lioness.

A lion stalking another pride

A lion stalking another pride

, white rhinos,

White Rhinos

White Rhinos

buffaloes, water-bucks and other animals, we even saw flamingos. I got caught up in a sandstorm at the lake. The wind blew the white alkaline soil and I was showered with white dust. It was so thick I could hardly see, the wind was quite strong. I had to walk backwards in the hopes of reaching the mini-van.

Flamingos

Flamingos

One of my guests asked me how I was going to wash my hair. On getting to the hotel, I realised what she meant. My hair was so white; I might as well have auditioned for the role of a senior citizen. This is why it is important to wear hats on safari.

We stayed at Flamingo Hill Tented Camp, I had been there before.

Flamingo Hill Tented Camp

Flamingo Hill Tented Camp

My room at the Camp

My room at the Camp

The dessert table

The dessert and cheese table

Entrance

Entrance

I had a great experience the first time and did not hesitate recommending the place to my other set of clients.Giving the place the benefit of the doubt, I took my clients there. Back then the service was excellent. The food overall is delicious.The lunch menu and breakfast are buffets. They even make you fresh pizza for lunch in their stone oven as you wait. I think it’s the only hotel I have been in that serves á la carte and they ask if you would like some more. Who doesn’t like more dessert?

Time really changes. The food was still great but the service was disappointing. On asking what ingredients were in one meal, the chef flatly told me “It’s just the normal batter.”  For someone who has food allergies knowing ingredients in your food is very important. In all the other hotels, the chefs had been patient and gladly told me the ingredients and made changes accordingly. Irregardless of whether I have allergies  or not being the foodie that I am; maybe I would have loved to have a recipe from the chef.  Another chef almost got offended when I told him I didn’t want cream in my soup, if it was possible to put a plant based cream / milk like coconut. Mind you, this was me ordering my dinner during lunch hour.

I liked the rooms; and decor is very charming and inviting. At night when you are off to your rooms, the guards lead you with a torch to your room.There is lighting along the path. Unfortunately, they had no WiFi and the only access to the internet was through an internet modem. That could be borrowed from the reception.They had no safe. We weren’t able to store our valuables so had to carry them around.The other thing is the electronic sockets, I had to charge my electronics from the bathroom. They did not have nearby sockets.I much prefer charging them on my bedside.

I have often heard in places where there’s bad service the staff are frustrated.The current situation in Kenya is terrible. 30, 000 staff in hotels especially in Mombasa have lost their jobs. Tourism has dropped greatly, due to travel advisory warnings and terrorism. In situations where seasons are low it is likely staff are probably working unpaid. This is common practice in some hotels. In my opinion this is not only unfair but unethical. I really hope this was not the case at this hotel, the members of staff were probably having a bad day. All in all the food was great.

At the end of my stay I was so over the place. I doubt I will go back on my own or with guests. There were other incidents I did not like but, I do not want to dwell on them.

Nakuru National Park is a great place to visit, if you want to see white rhinos, lions and flamingos. It’s a good place if it’s your first and only Safari.

Sunset on the flooded lake

Sunset on the flooded lake

Water-Buck

Water-Buck

Have an adventurous day won’t you?

R.

Donna

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