Wednesday, 30 May 2012

A Crash Of Rhino,A Flock Of Flamingos!

Ever since we first moved to Nairobi,I have been eagerly waiting for relatives and friends to visit us!The city is so green and beautiful that one feels compelled to share it's scenic vistas with all and sundry!My wish came true  when my sister in law and nephew announced that they had bought their tickets!A school friend of mine and her daughter joined them as well and excitement ran sky high in our house at the prospect of so many visitors.The guest room was scrubbed,rubbed and dusted,it's cupboards aired,every nook and cranny was swept clean,the entire house was given a once over,so much so that when my daughter came home from school one day,she declared that she thought she had walked into the wrong house!
Well organized,methodical,typical Linda Goodman Capricorn that I am,I drew up lists of places to see,things to do,stuff to buy!I wanted to ensure that our guests did not miss out on anything and tried to cram in as much as I could in the limited time that they had.Since the children had school,we could plan out of town visits only on the week ends.And so the first Sunday after their arrival saw us heading towards Lake Nakuru in a hired safari vehicle.
The Great Rift Valley has ensured that Kenya has been gifted with beautiful natural salt water lakes.And where there is water there is life,where there are fish in the water there are birds and they were the ones we were eager to see.We passed Lake Naivasha,then Lake Elementaita and finally touched Nakuru town which borders Lake Nakuru,on the banks of which lies the Nakuru Game Park.Park entrance fees for East Africa residents are different from those of tourists and as we segregated ourselves while paying,our guests were amused to be termed as 'foreigners'!
Then we entered the park with our fingers tightly crossed as we hoped we would be able to view the white rhino that this game park is famous for.Unlike the Maasai Mara which is a Savanna grassland,this park has a dense growth of trees resembling an equatorial rain forest,most of them Acacias.So animal spotting which is so easy in the Mara becomes a bit of a challenge here!Well,we prayed for a rhino,we got a crash of them!We came across six of them fast asleep under a tree right beside the track!They were snuggled against each other, oblivious to the world,as sunlight dappled their leathery skin and tiny birds pecked off insects from their crevices!We gazed in wonder as rhino usually shy away and prefer to stay off the beaten track.We had had a very distant glimpse of one while on safari in the Ngorongoro Crater in Tanzania and my daughter had seen one in the Mara but we had not been that lucky!Half an hour later,my friend who had wished aloud to see a standing rhino got her wish as we saw not one but two of them,munching the lush grass hungrily some distance away from the car track.!Then she said she wanted to see a standing rhino,up close and personal and I had to remind her that this was not a zoo!But that desire was fulfilled as well when one came within nose,sorry,horn rubbing distance of the car!Was this our lucky day or what?!
Quote.When Alice goes to Wonderland,the Flamingos hide,I understand!Unquote.Well,Alice used them as a mallet for a game of croquet,but though we had no such intentions,only a handful of flamingos made an appearance at the lake,as this is the time when they have actually migrated from here!So though Lake Nakuru is famous for turning pink with flamingos covering it's surface,we had to content ourselves with the hundreds of snow white pelicans that thronged it's shores.I was thrilled since I have a special affinity for pelicans,my first pull along toy being a perky pelican!Years later,worn and old though it was,my daughter played with it as well and so she was delighted with the majestic pelicans too!
A lovely lunch,Indian to boot,at the Sarova resort in the middle of the park where we were surrounded by the most gloriously coloured nesting birds and flowers that looked as if each one had been personally painted by the Creator,a hot cup of postprandial coffee and we were ready to leave for Nairobi though,of course,reluctantly.A more serene place than Nakuru I have yet to see,a place where a person can just be!


  1. I hoped there would be photos but your descriptions were more than satisfactory. How thrilling that the rhino came near your car, and how wonderful to have seen the flamingos. Hope you have more photos next time:)

    1. Hi Monisima,Thank you for the compliments!I have added the pics to this blog!


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