Monday, September 17, 2018

Kenya at its Best -Jungle Safari at Lake Nakuru National Park

Today is day one of our Kenya trip. We had reached Nairobi yesterday late evening. We spent our night at the B & B we had booked. Our Tour Guide cum driver Eric had arrived before time (at 0730 when we had called him at 0800) and was waiting for us in his Toyota Land Cruiser 4 x 4 vehicle.

Our B & B at Nairobi

Toyota Land Cruiser, our Ride for next 6 days

Today was our first ever Safari (in the evening) and everyone was excited. We managed to square up the place in quick time, finish our breakfast and after loading the vehicle set out for Nakuru at about 0830. The highway A 104 leading from Nairobi to Nakuru was very good 4 lane road constructed by the Chinese.

Nairobi - Nakuru Highway (not so good all through)

During this journey of about 180 Kilometres, our first stop was Rift Valley. Rift Valley Run a long distance in Africa. It starts in the north from Israel and goes down all the way to Mozambique in the south across many countries including Kenya and traverses a distance of about 6000 km. This valley has been formed by Tectonic plate activity and it is actually a geographic division of Africa across North to the south.

The Great Rift Valley

 There are few viewing points on the plateau over which the highway travels from where the Valley can be viewed. The small part one sees gives no indications of the length of the whole valley, however,  one gets an idea of the width which is quite a lot in Kenya.

We spent about twenty odd minutes looking at and photographing the Valley. After this break, we moved on and continued our journey to Nakuru. We passed by Mount Longonot which had a crater on it (one can not see it from the road but the edge of the mountain is a give away) as also a National Park. People trek periphery of the creator of Mount Longonot.

Mount Longonot on Google Maps Satellite Image
Mount Longonot Crater
Passing the Mount Longonot and thereafter Lake Naivasha (at a distance) we continued our journey and stopped for a break after about 3-hour drive. After a cup of coffee and some fruits shopping, we restarted our journey. Our Lodge was in the midst of Lake Nakuru National park, almost 20 km inside on a hillock. After taking necessary permit for entry into the national park we moved on and Reached Lake Nakuru Sopa Lodge, our place of stay in the wilderness. It took a total of about 5 hours to reach Nakuru from Nairobi.

Lake Nakuru

The lodge was beautiful and better than our expectation. It also has an infinity swimming pool which was added attraction. After check-in and settling down in our rooms, which overlooked a valley, we had our lunch, rested a bit and at about 1600 set out for our first ever Safari in Kenya, at Lake Nakuru National Park.
Nakuru Spoa Lodge, Rooms

Sopa Room from Ind

Spoa Dining Area
Nakuru National Park is on the floor of the Great Rift Valley. It boasts of very large quantity and variety of wildlife. When one goes for a safari in Africa, everyone looks for the Big Five of Africa. They are Lion, Leopard, Rhinos (both Black and White), Elephant and Cape Buffalo. As for me, big five is okay, the wildlife in Africa is enchanting with or without Big Five. Nakuru National Forest has big four with the fifth one, the Elephant is missing from here. It is a great question as to how nature works. Despite contiguous landscape, some national forests do not have some species of the wildlife.
The safari that we undertook worked out to be great. We got to see most of the wild animals and a large number of birds. Let the blog go to Photo mode. However, it is difficult for a talkative person like me to keep quiet. I would hence intervene once in a while in between photos. Let us start the show.
Water Buck
Wild Boar (Africans lovingly call it Pumba) 

Our first encounter with a Lion was this lazy fellow who was sleeping away to glory. We were told that Lions are like that. Once their stomach is full, they just sleep like cazy until they feel the hunger again.

Lazy Lion

Two Rhinos that we found also had joined the Lion in a competition called “who is lazier”.
Two Rhinos in Laziness Competition with Lion

Zebra Crossing
Africans call me "A donkey with the Strips"

Fire Finch

Graceful Gazals

WHo is There. Gazals on Alert
And this Lioness had taken fancy to this branch of a “Yellow Fever Acacia” Tree. She stuck to the branch during our three visits to her in a span of over one and a half hour.

WHo is this so Well framed by the branches of this tree

SHould I stay or should I get do

Should I Sleep?

Time to Change the Place

 Then came the Cape Buffalo

Let me take my Fill

Who is this seeking a share of grass from us
Here are the water birds, many varieties enjoying their time at lake Nakuru

Yellow Billed Stork

Great Cormorant

Egyptian Goose

In all, the start of our Safari trip was grander than expected. The viewing was great and the jungle was soothing. Had a wonderful day of drive from Nairobi, beautiful Jungle lodge and even better safari. Seeing a Lioness on a tree is a rare sighting even for African locals. We were lucky.


  1. Very nicely put across.
    Waiting for more of the same. Details of contacts if shared on Force Net would enable many of us to plan our trip.
    Col Puneet naithani, veteran.

  2. Thanks Col Naithani. I get your point of giving contact numbers but I did not give it because there are various levels of safaris (Costly medium, moderate and low cost) and many travel agents to choose from. However, if it is needed, I can give it on 1 - 2 - 1 email.

  3. Nicely put across Harshad. Memories of Kenya will always be cherished.

  4. By the way which blog site are you using?

    1. My blog on various topics are at I also have my travel blog on wordpress, a travel page on facebook and replication of on