After our safari in Amboseli National Park (see also our photos from the Amboseli safari), we backtracked to Nairobi to drop off Charlie and pick up three other travelers at the tour office before heading out to a Lake Nakuru/Maasai Mara combination safari. Lake Nakuru was only a short visit in the late afternoon. The park is famous for flamingos and both white and black rhinoceros.
Along the way we crossed the Great Rift Valley, a natural trench that stretches from 3700 miles (6000 km) from northwest Syria all the way down to Mozambique.
The Great Rift Valley, of course, is brought to you by Coca-Cola. As refreshing as the valley is long.
We passed through Nakuru town just outside the park. Here are some murals painted on cinder-block housing projects.
The first animals to greet us at Nakuru were the baboons. And there were plenty of them in the parking lot sorting through anything not properly tied down and climbing all over our safari van.
Then you’ve got your standard herd of zebras…
and water bucks….
And with an attempt to steal the show, a young lioness made an appearance. As our first big cat sighting, that was indeed pretty exciting. But there were bigger critters to come.
We spent some time along the lakeshore where hundreds and hundreds of flamingos gathered, as well as pelicans and the occasional stork.
The sun had tucked behind dark clouds but the sky still offered some decent color for photos. A sunset would have been nice, but alas…
But the real stars of the show were a couple of white rhinos. The black rhinoceros — more rare and endangered — did not make an appearance. These rhinos are often brought in from other parks as it is easier to protect them from poachers here. We came awful close to the white rhinos, the ones with the better temperament I might point out. The light was going bad fast and most shots were blurry, including their attempt to descend the road embankment and cross in front of us. Look at the horn on this one. Yowza. Visions of tipping Toyota van. I wondered if the flash of cameras would startle them. I left mine off.
More photos and stories to come from the Maasai Mara and Samburu National Parks. Big cats and their kills and much more. Plus if you haven’t read about it, we had a few too close for comfort wildlife encounters.
(Read/see more about our Kenya safari accommodations.)