Photo Essay: Safari at Lake Nakuru National Park, Kenya
You cannot visit Africa without going on safari. Upon leaving the continent you are passed through a Safari Detection Machine which beeps and tattoos ‘stupid’ on your forehead if it detects a lack of safari-exposure. Fact. Sort of.
During my time in East and South Africa, I managed to go on about ten safaris. There were your standard 4×4 safaris and then there were walking safaris, ones on elephant back and others in boats and dug-out canoes. There was the opportunity to go on a cycling safari too but I had to opt out of that since I can’t ride a bike (don’t worry, learning how to do so is on my before-30 list).
The safari at Lake Nakuru National Park in Kenya was certainly not the best of all of them, possibly not even in the top 3, however it is special for one particular reason: it was my very first African safari.
My eyes were round in wonder pretty much the entire way through. Everything was simply incredible! I had never, ever seen so much wildlife in such a relatively concentrated area. Subsequent safaris were just as awe-inspiring but I’ll never forget my first time 😉
Here are some photos which captured my favourite moments of the day…
We entered Lake Nakuru National Park at about 5.30am, as the mist was still rising off the lake. A stillness blanketed everything; even the birds were quiet.
This is actually my favourite photo of the entire journey in Africa. Our driver rolled to a stop, turned off the engine and pointed… and there stood a buffalo, statuesque as you like, only its mouth moving as it munched away. This was my first sighting of one of The Big Five and it couldn’t have been in a more picturesque setting.
Nature takes its course as Nakuru town looks on.
And then we got stuck. Due to rains the night before, the tracks were in bad shape and it was only a matter of time. At the very beginning of the day our driver had told us to close the van windows “or you’ll be lunch” so it was with quite some trepidation that we all piled out the van to push. I’ll never forget how one girl jumped out of her skin when someone shut the van door quickly and, I guess, it sounded like a lion’s roar? Having since heard a lion roar, I can say it sounded nothing like it. I think she almost wet herself 😀
Lake Nakuru is famed for its flamingos but we spotted an abundance of other bird species.
Dung beetles are fascinating. A group of us watched this little guy struggle with his poo-ball for at least ten minutes. Our drivers couldn’t understand why we were so intrigued by such a tiny insect.
No photo can do this view any justice. At the top of Babboon Cliff I had a bit of an emotional moment… looking out across the park and the lake, it hit me that I had made it to Africa. After close to two years of planning, I had made it.
Look at this cool dude!
This. This guy makes it to my Top 10 Safari Moments list. I believe it’s a white rhino (forgive me if I’m wrong but we saw both black and white rhino and I am too inexperienced to tell the difference). We observed the rhino quietly munching the grass and then…
Stunned silence. Such a beautiful moment. I doubt the video is enough for you to sense the majesty of this beast but I will never ever forget it.
And I’ll wrap up with this guy. Mr. Blue Balls. Actually called a Vervet Monkey but that’s no fun.