Not all those who wander are lost - but I'll be disappointed if I don't get lost frequently!

Friday, 20 April 2012

Lake Nakuru Safari

As many of you may know, I'm not much of a morning person, so a 5am start to the day is pretty hard for me. But when a safari game drive is involved, I'm more than willing to get up before the sun does!

Six people climbed into each of the 3 safari minivans at 6am for the drive to Lake Nakuru National Park for our first glimpse of African wildlife. The tops of these vans lift up, so that you can stand up in the van during the game drive to spot game and take photos. Not quite the open topped Land Rover I'd been picturing, but practical all the same.

The first thing we spotted was the tail end of some lions in the far distance, but I barely saw them for a second so not really crossing them off my list yet. We spent quite some time observing a troop of baboons, fleaing each other, fighting, then having make up sex. I've seen plenty of baboon penis to last me quite some time!

We saw a springbok, impala, waterbuck, lots of birdlife, heaps of buffalo and many zebras. Giraffes are very interesting creatures to watch, especially their strange walking style. Not many of the zebras we saw we black, most seemed to be brown and white striped, and several were even pale beige and white. We were very, very lucky and saw 9 rhinos throughout the day, both the black and white varieties. They are beautiful and intriguing beasts, and it's such a shame that they are nearly extinct.

Today was the first day that I really got to test out my dSLR camera and new binoculars (thanks Mum!). I learnt quite a bit about how to use my camera, but am still very much an amateur. But I got some beautiful shots of the wildlife and scenery, and in all I think I took over 400 shots throughout the day. One of my favourites would have to be of a white rhino, and you could see blood running down his face. Maybe he had been in a fight? I also quite liked the shots of the flamingos in the lake, where the water was perfectly still and you can see their mirror image on the surface. There are plenty of bum shots of zebras too!

The binoculars I brought on this trip would have to be worth their weight in gold... They definitely added a lot to my game viewing experience. They are reasonably compact with an 8x32 magnification, but looking through them was much brighter, clearer and closer than my 300mm zoom camera lens. I highly recommend getting yourself a pair if you're heading to Africa. They were in high demand by the others in my van.

While out watching one of the rhinos, I remember thinking that it was quite surreal that I'm actually in Africa, watching beautiful animals. Sometimes it hardly feels real, but at other times it's just like 'Oh yeah, just another normal day'. But really, it's quite extraordinary being here. Which of you out there wishes you were here with me?

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