First time safari Kenya (Part 2)
In the second of a two part blog, Africa expert Hannah Busby tells us about the birdlife and other wildlife at Lake Elementeita in Kenya.
My wildlife experience in Kenya ended at Lake Elementeita, a shallow soda lake known for its exceptional birdlife. I stayed at the newly opened Lake Elementeita Serena Camp, a beautiful property with lake views set in the Soysambu conservancy where Lord Delamere set up his ranch in 1906. Staying here was truly relaxing – I could have happily whiled away many an hour at the swimming pool, or drinking a gin & tonic at the bar, or having a massage. As well as providing a tranquil place to unwind, there is a lot to do from here. The lake is excellent for its birds, especially great white pelicans and flamingoes, with July to September being the best months for avid birdwatchers. The Soysambu has a variety of animals including the endangered Rothschild giraffe, colobus monkeys, baboons and about 50 leopards. The lake is situated between Lake Nakuru and Lake Naivasha, providing the possibility of more activities. Lake Nakuru has all of the big five except for elephant and game drives can be arranged.
I went to Lake Naivasha for the afternoon, a freshwater lake that is home to about 2000 hippos. I went on a small boat, getting so close to a hippo was incredible. The boat took me to Crescent Island, where there are many animals, but no predators so you can walk freely amongst them.So, one week, lots of early starts and countless animals later, my safari trip had come to an end and it had exceeded all my expectations. I hadn’t before realised how much I would enjoy just watching the animals, how they behaved amongst themselves and how they reacted to noises or other animal movements. I used to think it was strange that people could spend so many days going on game drives – I thought they would get bored. But now I understand how involving and how calming it is, watching and waiting, wondering what you’ll see next, talking in hushed tones, appreciating the scenery as time goes by ever so slowly.
Kenya provided an extremely varied itinerary, with different wildlife and landscapes to appreciate. The Kenyan people were forever friendly, informative and enthusiastic about their rich and fertile country. By the end of the trip, I had been unfortunate to not see any big cats. Was I disappointed? No, it gives me a great excuse to go back – hopefully soon. Cox & Kings organises safari holidays to Kenya.