God sometimes gives us unexpected gifts. Our gift has been a grandson who enlivens our lives and makes retirement very different than the one we anticipated. He is a special joy. And that's "Casey." In 2006 we fulfilled our dream of living in Italy for a year. It was every bit as wonderful as anticipated. This blog begins in 2005 as we prepared for that experience. Since then we have explored many places together. That's the "Travel." And finally, I am a person of opinions--spiritually, politically, on just about anything and that's the "Other Stuff." Welcome to my blog.

Saturday, August 28, 2010

Lake Nakuru--Baboons, Rhinos and More

Lake Nakuru has just about everything in terms of Kenyan wildlife but what truly distinguishes it are the pink and white flamingos--sometimes upwards of a million covering the surface of the water, making it seem as if there is no lake. They stand in one legged splendor, bent over claiming the algae on which they thrive.

In recent years, the land around the lake has been designated as Lake Nakuru National Park. Not only is it populated by many species it is, importantly, a sanctuary for the endangered Black Rhino.

Actually, these are white rhinos--white rhino aren't white.
In the early 1900's there were several thousand Black Rhino in Africa but by 2004 the number had dropped below 2500. Poachers decimated the numbers as their horns were sought for many purposes, including by the Chinese who would pound the horns into powder to use to stimulate sexual stamina and fertility. The horns are also used to carve decorations and jewelry. Though poaching is now illegal in Kenya and other African nations, it continues to flourish as poachers, using AK-47s, seek out both rhinos and elephants.

One of our favorite memories of Lake Nakuru is the antics and delightful entertainment provided by the baboons--who seem to think that the world is theirs alone. They are the antithesis of solitary souls but instead form large family and community units. Children are watched over and tended to as in the most protective human family. Mothers patiently groom children and provide free transportation. We spent a good 15 minutes watching young ones playing on a tree root, looking just like a bunch of children playing on jungle gyms in the neighborhood park.

We were hoping that we would see the elusive leopard here--but, no such luck. Kept telling our guide his tip depended on his spotting one for us but in 13 days, that never happened. We did get a great lion shot though.

This park is not far from Nairobi and other larger towns and so it is a field trip destination for school children. There were many school buses in the picnic area--all the kids in their uniforms and being just as enchanted with the resident baboons as Casey was. Fortunately, the park is large enough that it isn't a matter of being behind a caravan of buses while exploring --that would be a rather not pleasant Disney Land feeling, I think. It is a pretty cool field trip, though.

Nakuru is a small park, unlike the Mara and Amboseli which comes next. We spent just one day there; however, we saw many many species--giraffes, warthogs, buffalo, zebra, rhinos,eagles, maribou storks, heron and more--but no elephants; they are not in Lake Nakuru Park. Also, missed the pythons which were in hiding that day.

Buffalo and Friends
Our Digs at Lake Nakuru

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Love those Baboons! Accomodations look pretty cool as well.