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Giraffes and Zebras and Rhinos, Oh My
September 29, 2010, 6:52 am
Filed under: Kenya, Pictures Post

Dear friends,

My first Safari in Africa!!

I had a wonderful weekend at Hell’s Gate, Lake Naivasha, and the Nakuru Game Park. It was a trip organized by my hostel, Wildebeest, and I went with three other hostelers (Chuck, Dan, and Jess) who are all material engineers, and very fun to hang out with. We spent the first day at Hell’s Gate, a HUGE gorge where we went hiking in the canyons and hot springs, and then ended the afternoon on a boat ride on Lake Naivasha, where we were able to see all kinds of safari animals, including being able to walk in a field right next to zebras, giraffes, and wildbeests!

The next day we did a game drive in Nakuru National Park, where we had the opportunity to see even more animals. However, I was surprised at how boring a game drive can be. Most of it involves driving all around the park for hours on end for glimpses of animals that could be extremely far off in the distance. You aren’t allowed to get out of the safari car, but they do usually have raised roofs so you can stand to take pictures of the animals. Spending about 6 hours with my neck craning to get a picture of a rhino hundreds of feet away, or straining my eyesight as we passed along for glimpses of lions or leopards without any reward, was not my cup of tea. I easily got camera fatigue and spent the second half of the safari in a kind of stupor sitting in the car, only to arise when Jess or Dan’s shouts of different animals of interest alerted me back to standing. Suffice to say, I’m glad I only did a day-long safari.

However, overall it was a really relaxing weekend and a great experience (though unfortunately, I do need to go on another safari to at least be able to glimpse a lion! My requirement is to see my own ‘big five’ while I’m here (‘The Big Five’ usually refers to seeing a lion, leopard, rhino, elephant, and water buffalo): my own ‘big five’ I want to see is the elephant, giraffe, zebra, hippo, and lion! I’ve seen four out of five. One more to go.

Please check out the hordes of pictures below (which includes zebras, giraffes, baboons, impalas, rhinos, and much more)!

The view on the way to Hell’s Gate

Hell’s Gate National Park

Dan and Jess, two of my awesome traveling companions for the weekend

Hell’s Gate National Park

Starting our trek in Hell’s Gate gorges

We are really far down

Our trek was a lot harder than it looks! We were constantly climbing up or down steep rocks into the gorge.

I’m surprised we all survived this one intact.

The beginning of the hot springs

This water was nearly boiling it was so hot!

Climbing back up the gorge

Our view at the top

Our afternoon boat tour in Lake Naivasha

Chuck, a beastly 76 year old man with 10 children and 23 grandchildren (some of them my age). Could not believe his strength in climbing the gorge.

Lake Naivasha Hippos!

There are all kinds of animals hanging out in Lake Naivasha.

Our boat driver whistling to an eagle, right before tossing a fish.

Zebras and Wildebeest

Giraffes look so comical when they run!

Skulls of many different types of safari animals

Our overnight rest in Nakuru. This looks like a regular bathroom…

Travel gem! The closet deceptively holds a huge bathroom inside.

Nakuru game park– water buffalo.

There are way too many baboons in this park

Some baboons up to trouble

Water buffalo

Lake Nakuru is renowned for its thousands of pink flamingos.

Black zebras are male, brown zebras are female.

There are a huge variety of colorful lizards here

Lake Nakuru

Female Impala

This spot is where there are at LEAST 2 lions napping. You should’ve seen the number of safari vans parked here craning to get a look at them. No dice though: the grass was too tall to see them.

A male Impala

This park has hundreds of Zebras. I love them. Zebras get easily scared, which I found interesting.

This reminds me of 100 acre wood in Winnie the Pooh. My Disney-related references this weekend was way over the top (The Lion King, Winnie the Pooh, Pocahantas, etc.)

Wild rhino

The end to two beautiful days.

Thanks for reading!

Much love,


2 Comments so far
Leave a comment

kate will be very upset when she hears how close you were to hippos

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