!! We are already in the habit of waking up for breakfast on the plane! But if there is no one to swallow it ... It is his way of telling us ... !! WE ARE COMING !! The Kenya Airlines plane that operates Air France (very shabby, by the way) is taking land at Nairobi Airport around 9:00 in the morning, about 12 hours after what I should have done.
We were advised that the procedures in Nairobi are slow and tedious, and perhaps that is why we have been somewhat awkward to be at the visa counter (the slowest) of the first (USD 50 per person visas). Visa, passport, baggage claim and we are ready ...UPDATE 2014: Now you can request auniform visa for East Africa for a maximum stay of 90 that allows multiple entries to Kenya, Uganda and Rwanda with a price of 75 EUR. Request all the information by internet or email to the embassies or at the airports themselves upon arrival (Thank you Gema)
There awaits us. His name is Leshan, and belongs to Gaig & Leshan Safaris, who collaborates with Safi Safaris with whom we contacted to start our journey through Kenya (UPDATE 2015: Years later, before the request by email of the readers, we made for those who want to ask for a budget). Masai, 34 years old, fortachón, wide and tall, will be the one who will take us where we have decided to see in Kenya. He himself tells us ... "the trip is done by us" and so, the first thing we do after so many hours without eating anything solid, is to enter Nairobi to hit us a good breakfast (1360 KES). Previously we have changed at the Airport at 119 KES per EUR, since it is Sunday and there are not too many options.
Time of stock up for the road, and for this we access a nearby supermarket (850 KES). As we agreed to Nairobi we could already see that it has clear influences from what was once an English colony. Of course, in terms of vehicles and machinery they have taken all the Japanese (toyotas a gogo).
Before starting the adventure, Margari has heard songs in an evangelistic church nearby. Here the vast majority of the population is Christian, but with a multitude of praxis, Catholics, Protestants, ... The truth is that we had never been in one, and today taking advantage of it is Sunday and although in a somewhat decadent building, it is a good option for see him. There they are, singing at all singing. Like in the movies
North exit of the city., Destination the HIGH KENYA, Samburu. There is no excessive traffic (which we feared). What there are are constructions of Chinese, Chinese and Chinese companies. Amazing how they are eating everything in Africa too. Leshan tells us they are fast (they even work on Sunday) and cheap. There is no doubt about it. We also began to see a multitude of markets in ... !! any pedrusco !!
The landscape changes as we move away from the capital. Now are coffee, pineapple and mango plantations, which accompany us to the shores of Mt. Kenya. We have passed Ecuador and we are in the middle of the tropical forest area.
He journey is about 5 or 6 hours, so a stop to stretch our legs reminds us of future "encounters" that we will have in this month of adventure through Africa. We also note that they take advantage of the fact that on Sundays there is no train circulation in Kenya to install another "improvised" street market around the railroad tracks.
A symbolic point of the day arrives past the town of Isiolo. We continue northwest, while to the east it turns a bad sandy road that leads less than 30 or 40 km to the first Somali refugee camps how much they are on the lips of all these days This area has already completely changed, we are in a semi-savanna area, with cacti and small bushes, and much more poverty. In fact, the vast majority of the population of the town of Isiolo is Somali, many Muslims and, of course, Samburus.
Leaving left and right a multitude of typical Samburu cabins, camels arrive at the door of our destination, the Samburu Natural Park, a small protected natural area in the central part of Kenya, north of the Ewaso Ng'iro River and about 168 km2.
It really consists of three parks: the Buffalo Springs National Reserve, Laikipia, and the Shaba National Reserve. We have chosen to sleep at the Samburu Lodge, at the foot of the Ewaso River
Entering here and filling in the park access papers is like experiencing what we were looking for, a moment of "landing" in a new world that we had never experienced before. Much more slowly (because previously we were driving to the "Kenyan" and these means the "law of the jungle" also on the road, yes, without worrying family, we have a pilot) we were curious that this moment would hold us. What would be the animal we would see first? And the winner was a curious little animal called Gerenuk, which is still a dwarf antelope or "giraffe neck" antelope that has a curious way of eating in the acacias of the park ... !! on two legs !! We didn't even know about its existence.
The Grevy's Zebra We had no doubt that we would see her sooner or later.
It is the largest zebra in the world, with many narrow vertical stripes and big ears, which only lives in this part of Kenya and in southern Ethiopia (and there are barely several thousand copies already). It is accompanied by a few impalas
What it has been! high! of the day has been without a doubt our first encounter with the herds of elephants. Magestuous, imposing. There they were, eating peacefully
Herds and herds of elephants that have awakened our tired eyes after almost 2 days since we left without falling into a bed. They are really close specimens
It handles very well in the park. His Masai offspring and his desire to learn led him to the knowledge of the behavior of all types of wild animals and his passion, birds. We just hunted a lioness. It seems uneasy, as if in a hunting pose.
Several cars have come together to see it and there we are, observing our first predator in the middle of nature. It seems as if we do not exist. The lioness ignores us to such an extent that it passes between two cars without barely flinching. !! What a moment !!
!! Look! !! Look! We approach the Ewaso river. Another herd of elephants soaks, drinks and crosses it in front of our eyes
Elephants have a fairly familiar behavior. A matriarchy, children, one that pulls the group. It's curious. We will have days to observe and understand them better, since today we are just "discovering what this is about".
But if there is a curious little animal, this is called dik-diks. Barely the height of a "chiguagua", it is the smallest size antelope
Its name comes from the noise they emit when they are scared. They have a really cute face. Of course, they run to the minimum. To understand its size, it is best to see it with an elephant ... no doubt no?
Before we said that Leshan intuits the behavior of animals. He understands elephants perfectly, he knows when they are in the heat or "crazy" phase and when it comes to a young man wanting to browse. Not so our "driver", since the situation of greatest adrenaline in the afternoon has been arranged when a young elephant has approached us until almost touching us
Leshan has stopped the "driver" who already wanted to move the car and indeed, the elephant has not done anything, has just searched and touched the wheel and has begun to eat placidly. Another of them around the area has even backed down and has "called us everything", hahaha. It has been really fun, although we must not forget that this is not a zoo, this is pure nature, and here if you do not know it is better to be still and not bother.
We're tired of the Air France / Kenya Airlines trajin and it's getting dark, so We headed to the Samburu Lodge where we will stay for two nights. We have chosen it for being at the foot of the Ewaso in an area of small dense forest, in the middle of the park. The truth is that reaching the riverbank is like reaching an oasis among the arid savannah of our trip. Kilometers of potholes, of red earth, of steep hills do not let you even sense the fertile places on the banks of the Ewaso Nyiro River. A joy. Before we see some other special animal. A blue blackbird, a water antelope or some jackals with their prey of the day.
The most beautiful image has been left to us the impalas left the meadow towards his night retreat. A lovely species to watch
!!!!!!!! ALTOOOOOOOOOOO !!! We can't pass ... who cuts the road? !! They are beautiful reticulated giraffes !! Most sympathetic face impossible. Paula loves them.
Now, the day is not enough. We settle in what seem very comfortable rooms, shower and stick a dinner next to the Ewaso that we enjoy as never before, remembering some other time of the day, like the one that took us to take a picture of our collection of "signs curious "that we will take out in PERU with the vicuñas for example, but this time accompanied by a multitude of nice Samburu children, before making the crossing.
NOTE: We have no idea if a photo will be seen or not. Internet is painful
See you tomorrow everyone. Family, as always, phenomenal at destination
Paula and Isaac, from the Samburu National Reserve (Kenya)
EXPENSES OF THE DAY: 100 USD (approx. 71.43 EUR) and 2,410 KES (approx. 20.25 EUR)