In every direction that I look I see zebras, rhinos, monkeys, gazelles... We are in Lake Nakuru National Park in Kenya.
We arrived here on our Africa tour via the Great Rift Valley, north of Nairobi. The valley begins in Jordon and travels down to Southern Africa to Mozambique. We viewed the natural wonders from 7063 feet above. The basin looks like watercolours of brown, green and blue have flooded the landscape.
African game drives are an animal enthusiast’s playground. Anyone interested in wildlife needs to explore the large continent. The adventure isn't easy. In the wild there is no ‘money back guarantee’ if there are no sightings. There are no feeding times or cage doors. The ride is rough, your body adapting to layers of dust and pot holed roads. The heat is exhausting and your mind sees images in the waving heat.
But the patient are rewarded; your body warms with excitement as you glimpse the Africa wildlife. Their freedom is captivating. Exchanging eye contact with a majestic animal in the wilderness is an experience that will imprint on your memory.
Playful baboons patrol the road with their pink backsides high in the air. The youngsters of the family tackle each other in the dry coarse grass. Marshmallow-coloured flamingos hunt the swamps with necks stretching below their feet, feeling for fish. Rhinos chew grass staring at me past their large horns.
Amongst the trees zebras roam with their horse-like mane waving in the light breeze. They search the landscape, watching each other’s back. A monkey jumps into my vision as he runs to the top of a branch looking down at the hungry zebras. He is happy to be sitting high in the tree tops.
Impalas and gazelles bounce around the beige savannah. A marking on the impala differentiates the two deer-looking mammals. An impala has a large black ‘M’ on its backside. “The impala are a lion’s fast food,” our G Adventures tour guide Ndiaga joked.
Acacia trees glow in the crimson light of dusk. The foreground is deep in churning colours of orange and lavender as the sun sinks deep to another part of the earth. We fall asleep in a tent, listening to the cackle of hyenas throughout the night. The notorious Lion King radios my slumber, “In the jungle, the mighty jungle, the lion sleeps tonight.”
I awoke to a cluster of local children staring at me through chicken wire fencing. They squealed with joy when I handed them pens. One toddler sat on the ground with chubby cheeks and tears rolling down his face. “He has never seen a westerner before,” a local woman with beautiful, dark features said.
She wore a kanga around her head, a multi-purpose scarf used as a head scarf, wrap around dress and a way to carry children. The remoteness of where I am suddenly felt very real.
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