Vans at Lake Nakuru

Monday August 2nd

Day 6 -Treetops - Lake Nakuru - Lake Naivasha


Treetops water holeMisty morning at treetops

Departure from Treetops was a bit abrupt. We were awake at six, expecting to get a cup of coffee and then the first bus down to Outspan for breakfast an hour later. In fact one of the buses had broken down and we there was a call for a group to go down immediately. At least we obeyed our driver's directions to get the first bus.

Just after dawn it was cold and misty as we drove away.

Thomson's Falls

The first stop in a long day's driving was at Thomson Falls, near the town of Nanyuki. Even in the dry season, the 270 foot high waterfall was pretty impressive.

To get to the area overlooking the falls, we had to navigate the usual curio shops and some of the most unpleasant and intrusive sales people we came across in the whole trip.

Above the falls is the plateau of the Aberdare highlands and below them is a spectacular gorge cut by the river and retreating falls.

Welcome to T FallsCurio shopsViewing platform
Thomson falls
Top of fallsBottom of falls

Near the observation post, one of the locals was trying to charge Ksh200 for the opportunity of holding this rather prehistoric looking chameleon. He handed over the chameleon first before announcing his price, so wasn't in the best of bargaining positions. We gave him Ksh70 (about 60p).

Brown cowBlack and white cow

Cows, goats, camels and donkeys tethered and grazing at the side of the road were a common sight wherever we went. These cows were just across the road from Thomson's Falls.

Lake Nakura

We arrived in the town of Nakuru just about noon. Lunch either had to be very early or very late. Our driver settled for late and we set out for a game drive in the National Park around the lake before lunch.

Before starting we had a brief comfort stop at the gate near the strange combination of bar, butchery and lodgings.

Lake Nakuru entrance
Lions in treeBaboon

The first part of the game drive took us through the trees down to the water's edge. Our driver, John, proved to have phenomenal eyesight and spotted a pair of lions in a tree some distance from the trail. It took us all some time to locate them. 

Baboons were a familiar sight all around the park.

Lake Nakuru used to be famous for its water birds and in particular flamingos. Unfortunately, changes in water level had changed the alkalinity of the water and most of the birds moved elsewhere in about 1997.

We spent a little time on the salt flats at the water's edge, where there were still some birds to be seen.

Further round the drive we got closer to the water and the magnificent yellow-billed stork and a pair of lesser (??) flamingos.

Lake shore

Yellow billed storkFlamingos
White rhino
White rhinos
Rothschild's giraffe

We really came to Nakuru looking for rhino and we were not disappointed

White rhino are extinct in the wild, with just a few hundred specimen spread across dame parks throughout Africa. A group was reintroduced to Lake Nakuru National Park and seem to be thriving. 

We saw one individual close up walking along between us and the lake and later saw a group of four in the distance.

Other highlights included

  • The Roschild's giraffe

  • African buffalo

  • Warthog

The zebra at Lake Nakuru were Plains Zebra, characterised by broader stripes which covered the whole torso including the underbelly.

They also seemed much more frisky than the Grevy's zebra at Sambura.

Flamingo feathers

We stopped for a late lunch at Lake Nakuru Lodge. Evidence of the traditional flamingo population was everywhere, especially the dramatic table centres made up of flamingo feathers.

The buffet lunch was taken on a terrace overlooking a waterhole populated with a family of baboons and a few warthogs. 

After lunch it was back into the vans for the drive South to Lake Naivasha which we reached late in the afternoon (after yet another puncture!).


Lake Naivasha

Lake Naivasha Country Club is set on the southern edge of the lake. We arrived too late for any of the local activities and had to be content with a twilight walk down to the waters edge. Later, we understood the significance of the warning sign.


Sue at NaivashaMike at Naivasha

After another very pleasant dinner, we were about to retire to our rooms when someone said that hippos had been spotted near the swimming pool. By the time we got there they had moved on, but walking back we encountered a herd of water bucks and they were disconcerting enough.

Walking back to our room there was another report of hippos, and this time, accompanies by a security guard armed with a stick and a torch we gradually approached the area where the hippo was grazing. We were told to keep behind trees and in the dim light, we did indeed see a hippopotamus grazing on the hotel lawn.

Last updated: December 23, 1999 10:47 -0000