Friday, September 3, 2010
Nakuru, Kenya

… but it sure as hell can buy some comfort.  So this morning as I depart from Nairobi none the less sad to be seeing it go, I nearly got into the wrong bloody car again.  It seems when the Nairobi bandits are not trying to steal you blind, the honest ones will smile, nod and say yes to anything because they want to be helpful.. even if yes should be HELL NO!

But once in the right truck with Sammy, I’m on my way to Nakuru.  Now I am expecting a camp, nicer than the one in Tanzania because .. well I’ve paid about three times as much.  This is my time to truly let someone else take care of me and relax and enjoy.  Well, as we bump our way along the typical potholed, washboarded dirt roads of Kenya, we take a left turn at a defunct gas station and start driving down one of the worst roads I have ever seen.  The typical one room shacks all around.  Suddenly we take a turn and start going down a 25% grade and WHAM.. the view smacks me square in the face!  Simply magnificent.  I am on the edge of a massive caldera (extinct and collapsed volcano) looking at lush green forest over volcanic rock.  Then I see the camp.  Thatch roofed lodging over top of what technically still is called a tent.. however that tent is attached to a permanent structure which houses the flush toilets and private shower.

So since I have beat the rest of my safari crew to the site I settle in for a read and  nap.  Two hours later with a beer in my hand soaking up the view, the rest of the crowd shows up.  Now I wont lie, I was a bit worried to see a bunch of seniors rolling into camp.. yes everyone was in their mid to late 60’s if I had to guess.  We had Rus and Val from Australia (Rus is a retired structural engineer and Val a geologist and urban highway planner) and brother and sister pair of Annie (retired heavy machinery operator and apparently obsessive documentary watcher!) from Flagstaff and Robert (retired school worker) from Montana.  Well it turns out of course that they are VERY nice people and we hit it off just fine.  I have to tell you after two weeks of traveling with Aussies I’m going to miss the dry sarcastic humor!

Well today we scheduled to go for a nature walk down into the crater but alas mother nature had her own plans and brought us a thunder storm.  So I sat with .. you guessed it.. TEA.. ha.. fooled you! on the balcony of my tent overlooking the crater, reading and writing in my journal.  Then had arguably the best meal I have had this trip.

The next morning we are up at the crack of dawn for an all day game drive into Lake Nakuru National Park.  This place was amazing!  Renowned for its population of flamingos, it didn’t disappoint. With numbers ranging in the high 10’s of thousands, the shores of the lake from a distance look like they have been painted pink.  While we are looking at the flamingos we are treated to the rare sighting of both a black and white rhino. In addition, the hyena make an appearance as well as numerous other birds and zebra, gazelle, Impala and the MASSIVE water buffalo.

Well, as the day rolls on we sight a family of 6 lions which apparently is exceedingly rare in this park.  The Rothschild Giraffe makes an appearance which is nice to see as they are the most at risk species of giraffe in Africa.  They are such graceful creatures I just can’t help wanting to watch them for long periods of time.

Finally as the day winds down we continue to search for the elusive leopard with no luck.. but we do spot even more lions as well as baboons and the black faced velvet monkey.

With the temperature dropping for the first time, I have to put on layers.  Yes can you believe that a mere 300 Km from the equator and I am putting on my thermal shirt as well as my wind breaker to stay warm.  At night we are treated to a hot water bottle in our bed by the ever attentive staff which I can’t say enough about.  I would recommend the Maili Saba camp to anyone.  Not only was the service impeccable but the profits go to support the Ujima foundation which supports children who have been orphaned and are taking care of their younger siblings.  The foundation teaches them work skills and empowers them to hold good jobs in the hospitality industry (Kenya’s #1 economic driver) and to break the cycle of poverty so often awaiting them.

Finally the next morning, we are off on the 6 hour trek to Masai Mara.. but that’s another day.

Pictures & Video

My "tent"

Maili Saba Camp View

Maili Saba Camp View


Can you find the 5th leg

Can you find the 5th leg

Jealous? From Oh Brother!, on Sep 7, 2010 at 08:21PM

The White Rhino

Chilin' in teh grass

Chilin’ in teh grass

Our lunch venue

Bad case of blue balls! ... KW

Bad case of blue balls! … KW

I assume you mean the monkey… From Oh Brother!, on Sep 7, 2010 at 08:23PM

The Rothschild Giraffe

The Rothschild Giraffe

Flamingo Heaven

Pensive Baboon

Even more pink

Lake Nakuru fringed in pink

Lake Nakuru fringed in pink

8 Replies to “Its true.. money can’t buy happiness..”

  1. Hey Bill! What's this about you being worried about traveling with some seniors!!!!! I will bet you had a hard time keeping up with those youngsters. Again…great pictures.Aunt Betty

  2. Glad to see you are relaxing on the high side for a change. I bet it is all the better to have some luxury after a few days of roughing it!And for your football update – the boys in blue looked as good as you might imagine if you saw the score. Shoelaces had a great game and could be what the doctor ordered. Still some concerns over the defense, but all in all, a very successful opening day. You were missed by all!

  3. Hey Bill, sounds like a great time. Brian forwarded me all the links so we got caught up on all your blog entries today. Really enjoyed it and thanks for sharing.Fun game Saturday and thanks for letting us use the house and keep up tradition. We had to leave a little early but left Joe and others in charge of cleanup. I'm sure they did an impeccable job. I think there was too much beer to fit in the fridge so should be in good shape when you get home.

  4. UNBELIEVABLE!! Been folowing in a book fromt he library and what you are seeing are what the book is saying is there! Everything is AMAZING to read about, but I bet it is life changing to see. Missed the "M" hat. Your "digs" look very rustic and Africanish….if there is such a thing. Do NOT expect that kind of service when you camp with us! All of your companions to date have sounded interesting. Can't wait to see who you meet next. I am sure the "seniors" loved you as much as you loved them.

  5. You've got some winner shots here, Bill! And I know I asked for some shots of you WITH the wildlife, but you look so dang cheerful with carnage going on behind you….kind of disturbing HAHAHAAHA. Your football updaters failed to mention that the BigHouse broke an NCAA attendance record with 113K+….the fans showed up and so did your boys in Blue, so you could at least make sure the M hat shows up. HAHAHA Thank you for not hanging it on the '5th leg', BAZINGA! And I wouldn't have stuck my arm out of the window for all the tea in China with a Cheetah that close! Wonderful, really. Jessica

  6. hey bill what a trip must have been some bus ride i find the animals fasinating. my favorite is the giraffs. the saffari must have been cool.maybe you could bring me back a shield of spear from the shaka zulu tribeha ha for my condo. i will settle for a hat. how about that tent? If you get to hot you can take a dip in the nile. by the way me and craig watched the game on the big screen. we also joined a five man bowling team on friday nights. well i sure do miss the phone calls. well got to go how about those lions? your brother from tahe north john

  7. P things always get better for you, God doesn't hate you, He just wants to make sure you know your place in the world. I've tried to text you as you wonder on your perilous journey especially while at the new and improved Big House. Joe, Steve, and I were the last to leave your place and everything is in better shape than you left it, including your damn garage door, but that's another story. Hang tough keeping shooting pictures and above all GO BLUE