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Lake Nakuru

January 22, 2010

Trying to avoid some airport closures due to winter storms I decided to fly to Kenya two days before the official start of our tour.  Ryan Snider – our guide – had suggested I could spend these extra days at Lake Nakuru National Park and was kind enough to arrange for a car and driver for me. Lake Nakuru is a shallow alkaline lake located in the Great Rift Valley. It is known for its large amount of Flamingos, but the recent drought in Kenya caused the water level to drop and most of the flamingos left. Fortunately it started to rain in recent weeks, the water level is starting to rise and the flamingos are slowly returning.

But there is plenty of other wild life here. On our evening game drive we came upon a white rhino and its calf, water buffalo, hyenas, gazelles and a  pride of lions ready to go on the hunt for some wart hogs. It seemed to be a half-hearted attempt and the wart hogs got away.

The next morning we left for another game drive after a very early breakfast. We took my luggage along so we would not have to worry about being back in time for check-out from the camp. It was a drizzly and rainy morning. It did not take along until we found a group of Rothschild giraffe. We followed them for quite some time and I was able to get some nice shots of them.

Shortly after leaving the giraffes Steve, my driver, noticed something in the brush across a large field. It was a black rhino with its calf! It stayed in the brush for a long time and we patiently waited in the hope it would come out into the field. Just when both mother and baby decided to finally appear another vehicle came down the road and scared them off. Fortunately I was able to get at least one picture before they disappeared. I still have no clue how Steve was able to spot them. He was driving on a narrow dirt road, it was drizzly and the rhino was so well hidden (and at quite a distance)  that at first I had a tough time seeing them even after he pointed them out to me.  Eagle eyes and plenty of practice, I guess.

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