Friday, October 1, 2021

Lake Nakuru Bird Watching

 Lake Nakuru National Park is one of the last remaining bird sanctuaries in the world today. It’s the second most visited national park in Kenya after the Masai Mara Game Reserve and arguably the most profitable. The Lake is a shallow 3.5m deep soda lake inhabited by thousands of teeming Flamingos synonymous with the lake and is home to more than 400 other bird species, creating a marvel that is fulfilling to behold. This is the reason why many ornithologists flock here throughout the year in search of unique bird species.

Lake Nakuru Bird Watching

The Lake Nakuru National Park was gazetted as a national park in 1961, initially only a few square miles in size but today it has grown to 180 square kilometers of euphorbia forest, woodland forest, grasslands, rocky cliffs and acacia forests harboring thousands of flamingos, hundreds of bird species more than you have ever seen in years, countless mammals, carnivorous animals, baboons, hyraxes and Hippos. The Lake Nakuru National Park is also home to a black and white rhino sanctuary surrounded by a high electric fence.

Making your way to the Lake Nakuru National Park, you will be greeted to the acacia trees that line up the road, with the Lake at a comfortable distance from the road. This is a welcome site far removed from the commotion of life in the modern city environment that we are used to. A herd of Zebras and Water bucks will always stop to stare at your tour van next to the road as the lake simmers in the distance. Around the Lake are the beautiful flamingos, you would think the lake is pink, but wait till you get close! Your emotions are carried away by the slow motion of the passion filled birds.

The Lake Nakuru National Park is dotted with public camping sites all over, costing $25 per person per night, but it would be imperative for you to beware of monkeys and baboons which can be a nuisance at night sometimes. You could stay at the flamingo tented camp, the Sarova Lion Hill Lodge or the Lake Nakuru Lodge. If you are traveling on a budget, you could stay at the Backpackers' camping site, or the wildlife Club of Kenya Youth Hostel which are set up at strategic sites looking down on the magnificent lake views. Except for the roar of an occasional car engine, you are surrounded by ethereal beauty - Natural like you have never experienced in a long time.

A custom drive safari will involve waking up early in the morning to the warm rays of the African sunrise, mellowed by the chorus of a thousand birds as you get ready for a game drive. You will definitely spot pigeons carrying twigs to their mates as they build nests, giraffes, zebras, and of course the antelopes feeding gracefully off the lash grasslands as the beauty of the lake reflects the blue sky.

Mount Kenya Climbing Expeditions


Mt. Kenya National Park is located to the east of the Great Rift Valley, about 175km North-East of Nairobi.  The ecosystem lies in Central and Eastern provinces of Kenya.  at 5,199m the mountain is the second highest peak in Africa. Mt. Kenya is an important water tower in the country. It provides water for about 50% of the country’s population and produces 70% of Kenya’s hydroelectric power.

The kikuyu people believed the mountain to be a holy ground, they believe that their God who is called Ngai leaved on the mountain. They call it Kirinyaga, which means "Place of light". It is now the center of a National Park offering more diversity of flora than most other Parks in Kenya.
Mt. KenyaNational Park was establishes in 1949 to protect Mt. Kenya and the diverse ecosystem surrounding the second highest mountain in Africa (5,199). Covering an area of some 700 square kilometres, over half of the Park is over 10,500 feet (3,000 metres). It was made a World Heritage site in 1997.

Mount Kenya Climbing Expeditions

The Park was created not only to help preserve the flora and fauna of the area, but also to protect the area because of its importance as a water catchments area for the surrounding population and agriculture. The mountain has three peaks namely lenana at 3364metres, Batian at 5188metres, Nelion at 5199metres. There are three routes that one can use to hike the mountain. These are Sirimon route, Chogoria route and Naromoru route.

The lower altitudes are covered in dry upland forest and are home to Colobus monkeys, Cape buffalo and elephants. (These elephants go as high as 15,000 feet in search of grazing). Montane forests start at 2,000 metres with cedar and podo trees. At 2,500 metres you move into a bamboo belt and then smaller shrub forest. Above this lies altitude moor land of heather and moss. Wherever you go there is wildlife, from baboon, forest hogs and leopard, each existing in its own environment in this unique park.

Although there is only one lodge in the Park itself, there are several famous lodges on its lower slopes; built there because of the cool climate in the hot season heat. Treetops, Naro Moro Lodge, mountain Lodge are all famous names in the history of Kenya and a great place to start a visit to the country.

Wildebeest Migration

The wildebeest migration “one of the seventh wonder of the world” happens every year between the months of June to the end of October.  The wildebeest accompanied by zebras, gazelles and antelopes journey in a straight line from the Serengeti eco system to the Masai Mara eco system. 

They travel all the way to the Mara river banks and camp there for a week or two just waiting for one of the wildebeest to jump in the river and cross over and soon as that happens they all follow. Many of the weak, old and young ones perish at the jaws of crocodiles which the river is infested with as well as at the jaws of the big cats which place themselves strategically on the river banks to get a kill.

Wildebeest Migration

The migration is triggered by lack of vegetation on the Serengeti eco system where gnu are forced to move to the Masai Mara eco system where at the beginning of the migration the vegetation on the Masai Mara game reserve is lush. For three months the wildebeest feed on the vegetation clearing everything and by end of October they are forced to go back to the Serengeti reserve where they find plenty to feed on for the rest of the year.  

However over the years we have seen hostility between Tanzania and Kenyan citizens. This has resulted to Tanzania citizen lighting wild fires to deter this natural event from happening but all they have managed to do is delay it by a couple of weeks or so. This rivalry has continued to happen while both governments keep quiet about it.  

Well the person that bears the weight off it all is the tourists who are eager to witness this rare wildlife event only to bear witness to how ugly human behavior can be. Tourist end up going back home disappointed or spending more on accommodation hoping to wait it out for a some days or so. Some get lucky and others go back even more disappointed. 

It would be a great thing for the locals to understand that they cannot interfere with one of the seventh wonder of the world. Both governments should come out and condemn this actions by few who are out to destroy one of the greatest movement of wildlife in the world.  It’s a rare and very unique event that attracts millions of people from around the world and the sad thing is that we take it for granted.

I call upon every East African to rise to the occasion and speak loudly condemning this destruction because our economies rely on revenue we get from tourist who travel miles and miles to come to witness this rare spectacle. Will you be among those who speak out or will you be silent and ignorant about what’s happening the ball is in your court. What say you East Africans? 

Wednesday, September 29, 2021

Kenya Car Hire Services


Kenya Car Hire Services

Hiring of vehicles for travel either on business or leisure travel is really catching on. The convenience of a rental for a certain period as opposed to maintaining a car or in the case of corporates maintaining a fleet is quite expensive.

A lot of companies are offering rental services but it’s not all rosy as one might think it would be.  Different companies are offering the same services but the standard differ and you might end up having an awful experience or parting with a large portion of your hard earned money. Lets break it down a bit.

1.  Contract.

Before hiring a vehicle you need to sign a contract with the rental company, the contract should clearly state how long the hire period will be, the amount you should pay for the rental and liability in case of an accident or theft of the vehicle.  If you don’t understand the liability or it’s not explained to your satisfaction insist on a clarification and if it’s no futile do not sign the contract.

2. Check and test drive the vehicle.

It’s very important to check the vehicle for dents on the body and if there are any they should be documented. You should check for a spare tire, the jerk, wheel spanner, lock nut, life savers and fire extinguisher.

Some vehicles have extra security features which caution you and the rental company against theft however this gadgets are sophisticated and well hidden within the vehicle and if you don’t master them well initially this might cause some inconveniences. It’s wise to start and stop the engine a couple of times to get conversant with the system.  Take a test drive of the vehicle; speed a little bit and break just to get the feel and stability of the vehicle.

3. Requirements.

You require a valid international driver’s license or a driver’s license from point of origin. You require a passport or national identity card. You can only hire a vehicle if you are between the ages of twenty three and seventy five and you should have held the license for the past two years prior to the hire period.

You are required to pay all the amount up front and in cases where by the rental is on “self drive”   the hirer is expected to pay an excess deposit. The amount is meant to caution the rental company against theft of the vehicle or damage of the same which would renders the vehicle to be un road worthy.

If this were to happen the insurance company could ask for some money i.e 10% worth of the vehicle in order to replace the vehicle and that liability lies with the hirer. However if the vehicle was chauffeur driven the liability will lie with the chauffeur and not the hirer.

4. Caution

It’s advisable to follow the traffic rules and not assume that since you are in Africa that you can cut corners; you will land yourself in jail.  Another cautionary measure is that once you pay your excess deposit on the final day of the rental you should call your contact person at the rental company and let them know what time you will be returning the vehicle and that you expect your deposit back in full because the vehicle is in the same condition as issued. 

Lake Nakuru Bird Watching

  Lake Nakuru National Park is one of the last remaining bird sanctuaries in the world today. It’s the second most visited national park in...