De Addis Abeba a Ciudad del Cabo (From Addis Ababa to Cape Town)

Hello 2012!
January 4, 2012, 3:10 pm
Filed under: Uncategorized

Note: This post was written on the 1st of January.

Happy New Year to all of you! Here’s hoping 2012 is a great year full of exciting adventures, lots of happiness, love and good luck. Looking forward to meeting / seeing the new baby additions too :-)

We’ve been in Kenya for almost 2 weeks now and really like what we have seen so far (take a look at Alberto’s blog for some of our latest pictures).

After a quiet and chilled Christmas in Nanyuki we moved on to Nyahururu and camped (in a huge green field where we were the only campers so had the facilities to ourselves) at Thomson Falls Lodge which is right next to the Thomson Falls waterfall. As pretty as the waterfall is, I was more excited to find the hippo pool which was 15 mins upstream and is one of the highest hippo pools in Kenya. It’s in an unlikely spot in the middle of a village and the locals come and go about their business with the hippos right there – there’s no fence separating them either! One afternoon we sat with some of the locals for at least 90 mins counting how many hippos we could spot (think we got up to 12). Never seen a hippo yawn before either and that day we saw five (we were too slow to get pictures though).

After the bumpiest matatu (minibus taxi) ride ever (the matatu didn’t seem to have any suspension and part of the journey was on dirt roads with some pretty big ditches), we made it to Naivasha and then had to get another matatu to Lake Naivasha, 26km from town. Treated ourselves to a huge portion of crayfish for £6 for  dinner on our first night.

We spent the last days of 2011 and the first of 2012 at Lake Naivasha in the Rift Valley and stayed in a great little place called Top Camp (set on a hill with great views of the lake).

View from our banda at Top Camp

View from our banda at Top Camp

One of the entrances of Hell’s Gate National Park is only 5km from Top Camp. It’s one of the very few parks where you can walk or cycle unguided around the various tracks of the park, which means you can get up quite close to some of the animals. Another of the attractions of the park is a gorge whose walls have been entirely carved by water.

We were dropped off 2km from the gate and then walked another 8km to reach the gorge (passing warthog, gazelle, zebra and impala). We then did a 2 hour walk in the gorge (parts of it was more scrambling and sliding than walking as there were a few spots where we had to climb up / down sandstone walls with makeshift footholds with water running down them. Our skinny guide was deceptively strong as he pulled me up / broke my fall on a number of occasions!) and then walked the 8km back to the gate again. We were pretty exhausted by the end of it so cheated and caught a boda boda (motorbike taxi) back to Top Camp. Great day though.

The next day was possibly even better as we saw lots more animals (we walked 14km and again got to within a few hundred metres of loads of animals) including giraffe, buffalo (we kept our distance from them though) and water buck at the Crater Lake Wildlife Sanctuary, 20km from Top Camp. On the way we stopped off at a smaller lake to see the hundreds of flamingos that line its shore. Again, a pretty cool sight to see.

Here’s hoping 2012 continues as nicely as it’s started!

2 Comments so far
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An awesome way to kick off the new year! I can imagine some profanities falling out your mouth on the gorge walk Simone? Did you see any baby hippos? Hope you are taking lots and lots of photos!

Happy New Year Simone and Alberto! x

Comment by Valerie McIntosh

We have seen many baby hippos, and baby lions, and baby buffalo (supercute) and baby mongoose (tiny). And Simone never swears ;)

Comment by albertocuesta

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