Over the weekend I was invited by some friends to join them on a road trip down to Lake Nakuru National Park. It was a good R&R exercise, especially with all the pressure I had been under last week, what with so many clients making a lot of demands simultaneously, so I agreed without hesitation.
Once you pay the park fees at the gate, you and your party are given the freedom to drive around the vast park grounds in search of game. It is a lot like being an animal tracker, but with a car and a guide who knows the park as well as he knows his bathroom.
One of my favorite types of photography is Landscape Photography involving water. There is something about the reflection of the sky in the water which makes it feel like the world is composed of two skies and we are blessed to live in between. But if you want to be less poetic about it, then you will enjoy the “middle earthy” look of these swamp lands. Our guide told us the buffaloes come to these areas to drink from the lake in the evening. But we will get to that…
Something I never understand is why monkeys in real life always look so sad but the ones on Madagascar look like they just won a series of lotteries.
The first of the Big 5. If I remember correctly, the code name for buffaloes and antelope on the park is “mapembe” (horns). This is what the guide kept asking other drivers on the phone as we drove… “Umeona Kichwa?” and the other driver would say, “Ata, mapembe tu… Kichwa bado!”… Oh, “Kichwa” (head) is a lion… And we wanted to see the Kichwa!
Do you see them? By the lake? See… Told you they come out to drink in the late afternoon. But I should point out, as just a by the way, that if you are watching buffaloes from your vehicle and the big bad bull in the heard begins to eyeball your van threateningly… It’s time to move!
After nearly an hour of driving, we came to a clearing with a watering hole. And when we looked around, we saw them…
A whole heard of Rhinos resting by the watering hole. When you see these creatures up close, there is a certain sense of awe you get in realizing something that big just eats and walks all day. The guide told us that Rhinos can run up to 60KMH and that at a good speed, the ivory horn on its head can go right through the van door.
But once again, the big bad bull in the heard began to eyeball the van with violent intent. So it was time to move again. Fun fact about Rhinos though, they have poor eye sight and get confused about corners. So if you should ever find yourself being chased by one, just run in circles… But if that doesn’t work, do not claim to have found that advice on this site. I will deny giving it…
We drove on slightly and arrived at the shore of the lake. The sun was right up there in the sky giving a great shadow effect on everything.
So we said goodbye to some friends who were standing nearby and off we went. Just out of curiosity, how come nobody ever says “STAY IN THE CAR!” when there are antelope around?
In my opinion, they are just as dangerous as Lions. If not more… Like my wife says, “Nobody ever knows what they are thinking!”
And of course, we couldn’t leave the park without a shout out from the lord of bad sore throats, the giraffe himself… Or herself… The guide wouldn’t let me go close enough to check.
All in all, this is a very decent Sunday afternoon plan. I recommend it. It is cheaper than you would expect and a lot more fun!
I didn’t get close ups in this sets because I only had my trusty 18-55MM for this trip. But next time, I will have a good zoom lens so that we can see the face of the antelope as it plots our destruction!