Kenya
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We spent a total of 2 months and 15 days in Kenya. This time was divided between sightseeing, 101 sighting and fixing, and climbing.

We began our journey into Kenya along the eastern coast of Lake Turkana. This area does not have much traffic and at times we had to squint out of the corner of one eye to make out the vehicle tracks through the bush. The border post looked very similar to a UK Trig point and there was no evidence of guards or Police.

   

We continued down the coast of the Lake and in an area of extreme flatness and desert appearance an almighty thunderstorm struck. We had to stop as our one speed wipers were not fast enough for us to see where we were going.

 

 

   
Photo 1135 Lots of Rain
   
Nigel and Simon took the lead and led us up the hill to Illeret, well, led the way up the first part of the hill until they got stuck in the mud.We took an alternative route up and out of the river bed to arrive further up the hill, in front of them. We sat and ate sandwiches and waited for the rain to stop. Then, Nelly gave them a gentle pull and up the hill they came. We went into Illeret and spoke to the Policemen there in the absence of any immigration officials. They looked at our passports but couldnít stamp them. We were then introduced to Jason who was about to leave Illeret and drive south to Koobe Fora, where the national park has some offices and a campsite in Sibiloi National Park. We followed Jason into the park and down to the centre where we attempted to fix the puncture in Nigelís tyre, but failed, time to put in an inner tube. The sunset over Lake Turkana was very picturesque but the area was very hot and devoid of almost all vegetation.
     

The next day we set off to drive to Loyangalani at the southern end of the lake. The journey was very hot and the road very rocky. At about 11am disaster struck as we crossed a dry river bed. One of the back springs had snapped its top, main leaf. We kept on driving, very slowly, nursing Nelly along. 174km later we arrived in Loyangalani at sunset. The next morning two guys appeared who helped us change the spring and we were mobile again.
Photo 1193 The main road from the north into Maralal  
     

From Loyangalani we drove south to Maralal and stayed there to recouperate. The road did not improve and on the last section into Maralal it was faster and certainly more comfortable to walk.
Nigel and Simon left us here to speed ahead to Nairobi, we pottered down with a nights rest in Naivasha.

On arrival in Nairobi we had to visit the immigration office and the customs people to get our passports and carnet stamped. The immigration was quick and simple but the carnet more problematic. We had to find a way to get into the building without joining the massive queue and find the right man. The caretaker of the old customs building, now empty, was very helpful and he set up an appointment for us and the guards waved us in.

     

Our next outing from Nairobi was with my Parents and we went south to Amboseli National Park. This was our first real safari trip and just like the pictures. I never expected to see so many elephants so close and all different sizes, they just keep on growing, unlike humans.
Photo 1274 Elephants of Amboseli    
     

The backdrop of Kilimanjaro is spectacular and the view from the swimming pool as the sun was setting was very memorable. We then had a few relaxing days with my parents at Whistling Thorns before dropping them back at the airport for their flight home.

After they left we had about 2 weeks until Chrisís parents arrived, also in Nairobi and we spent this time climbing and fixing Nellyís suspension. When they arrived we went with them up to Nakuru to collect their hired Range Rover before driving to Naivasha and visiting the crator lake game sanctuary. This is another great place to visit and we had a pleasant stroll around the green lake, chasing the flamingos around before driving over to see the salt lick with giraffes, monkeys and zebras.

From there we went along the worst road in Kenya to the Masai Mara. The roads in general in Kenya are pretty terrible, the lorries are heavy and the roads arenít maintained as often as they need to be but this one was described to us as a Kenyan disgrace, especially considering where it goes to. The Masai Mara was nice but the grass was quite long, the rains had started and we didnít see that many animals. We are still to see our first big cat.

We returned towards Nairobi via a track up the back of the Ngong hills. This is signposted as a C road but is very rocky as it ascends the rift valley side but the views were great. Back in Nairobi we did some sightseeing where the Sheldrick Trust orphanage is definitely the highlight. The baby elephants are fed from huge milk bottles and then they play in the mud hole and the keepers splash them with water and mud to protect them from the sun. Gill adopted an elephant which meant we got to go back in the evening and put them to bed, their tusks are so dexterous and playful. Highly recommended if you are in Nairobi.

Back on our own we did some more repairs and climbing before heading north to Mount Elgon to see the caves. They are worth the visit even without a sight of the elephants who dug them. We had the whole park to ourselves and wandered around the cold caves with the pungent odour of the bats above. There were literally thousands of bats there and they all squeak as you approach them. We all saw some De Brassaís monkeys but they quickly scampered off on seeing us. Then the front output shaft broke and we limped back to Nairobi to fix it with 2 wheel drive.

After fixing, again, we drove up to Nakuru and from there to Kisumu on the shores of Lake Victoria. This is a huge lake but also very hot. We drove through lots of fields of waist high hedge- tea plantations on our way. Apparently this is the main Kenyan tea growing area. Kisumu was very hot and humid and this weather was to continue with us into Uganda.

   
 
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