Day 5 (September 14, 2013)   Naivasha

Before   

   This day we will rest of car for a change and we will enjoy of some of the activities for the environment where we’re going to be: Naivasha Lake.

Lake Naivasha map   The only must-do for us is the one has taking us to here: Crescent Island, a place where we can be in a walk safari by our own, enjoying the animals from close.

   We probably will have time for some other activities during the morning, as a boat ride through the lake or another one from the list.

   Our idea is lunching in Carnelley’s Camp before the one hour drive to Nyahururu (75 Km from there), where we will visit the Thomson’s Falls, just beside our hotel: The Thomson’s Falls Lodge. br>
   The spots marked at map are:

 0- Carneley's Camp
 1- Crescent Island
 2- Crater Lake
 3- Hell's Gate

After

   At daylight the place where we are in an Eden, surrounded by leafy trees with the lake in front of us, full of birds. We take our breakfast in the area where we couldn’t get dinner last night and, as we have time this morning, I pay 3000 ksh for a one hour boat tour in the lake. The price is by boat, not by person.

At 9:30 AM we go to the jetty to deliver our ticket and leaving to explore the lake.

Our new banda at Carnelley's CampJetty at Carnelley's Camp
















   The shores recall to a mangrove, with trees coming out directly from the water and floating plants giving green to the surface. Birds appear swimming or in the branches of the trees. The main one for the first would be the pelican, and for the second group the star is the fishing eagle but, over all of them, there are the hippos.

African fishing eagle


Hippos in Lake Naivasha

   We also take pictures of cormorants, marabous, king fishers, ibis, plovers, herons and a long etcetera where we can put even colobus monkeys.

Pelicans in Lake Naivasha
King fisherBlack and white Colobus















Cormorants in Lake Naivasha

   We spend the most of the time for this hour exploring the shore of the lake for finishing it with a fast return through the water to the starting point. In this way we pass through thousands of birds in the middle of the lake, making them leave in an unforgettable experience.

Exploring Lake NaivashaStampede of birds in Naivasha















Stampede of birds in Naivasha
   We come back to our banda after this lovely boat ride to getting all our baggage ready and start our route. Today is the day with fewer kilometers, though.

   Somehow, something urgent comes up when we’re told banks close at 2 PM because it’s Saturday and are closed tomorrow. We must exchange money before that happens.

   The road around the lake takes us into Naivasha just by the street of banks. The banks are one besides the following with military men guarding the area to avoid “incidents”. Somehow, we find out banks closed 10 minutes ago because they do it at 12 PM on Saturdays. We beg at their doors until we’re explained there is one of them, the Family Bank, which closes at 2 PM. We go there and join a long queue where we spend a lot of our spare time for today.

   Once with our cash in the pocket, we fill of fuel in the gas station in the next door and come back to the road of the lake to go to Crescent Island. Welcome to Crescent Island We don’t find the sign and take the entrance to “Crescent Camp” as it is the most similar. There we’re explained we must look for a sign saying “Animal sanctuary”. We find that and, after a security bar with a funny guard who takes 200 ksh from us as car rate, drive around the area until finding the right place to park. In our way, we’ve been following a giraffe and offspring in the road for some seconds.

   We walk up to the only buildings we can see: one looks like a farm and the other is a house where we’re welcomed by a woman who explains with enthusiasm to us some curiosities about Kenyan animals. She takes the 25$ per person from us and gives us the tickets. Since that moment, she tells, we can go around freely.

   We follow the way she has pointed to us to the hill over Crescent Island and from where we can see the island completely which, as can be seen in the map at the beginning of this page, is an isthmus more than an island. No animals at sight except for a small area in the shore in front of us, where all the animals seem to be concentrated. So we go to there.

Crescent Island from its hillCrescent Island from its hill
















  We get close to a herd of wildebeest, zebras and gazelles but, although they seem focused in grazing, with no mind on us, at the moment I get any closer than a certain distance, they move slowly keeping that distance. If I go to them quicker, they move away quicker, but always keeping that distance.

Herds of herbivores in Crescent Island
Wildebeest in Crescent IslandSafari in Crescent Island
















   We cannot touch them, but it is amazing being between them. There are also waterbucks, staring to us. This is the freest version of a safari and we use this freedom walking around for a while until we start our return walk to the only road in the island, passing by the swamp, where a flock of pelicans is swimming based in our movements.

Pelicans in Crescent Island
Crescent Island's landscapeWaterbuck in Crescent Island















Road in Crescent Island

   That road take us, through dragon trees and acacias, to our car, and we take it for our return trip to the exit, using more the intuition than the memory. But before, we make just a single stop for the giraffes we met when coming.

   We say good bye to the guard when leaving and go directly to the street of banks we’ve been before as we have already chosen restaurant for our lunch today. We park in front of “Le Belle Inn” and take a table inside, along the window pointing to our car.

Giraffes in Crescent IslandRestaurant "La Belle Inn" in Naivasha
















   I’m so happy when finding out there is free wifi for customers here and I take my lunch using my tablet for everything I had to do in internet. The food is excellent: Cocktail of Lake Naivasha crayfish and Vinaigrette of avocado as starters and spaghetti Bolognese and beef with fries, with coke and wine, for less than 2000 ksh.

   Although we leave the restaurant late, some minutes to 4 PM, I’ve still missed some things to do with internet. Anyway, all we must do for today now is driving to our hotel in Nyahururu, and we do it paying attention to our GPS for not missing the road we must take around Gilgil.

Road to Nyahururu

   This road is in very good condition until I mention it loudly and then appear some works in front of us, which make cars to take a temporary way over the ground at the sides of the road. Here they must put big rocks all over the road they’re working on for avoiding the cars to drive through it, as signs and warning are useless for drivers who have learnt to go at their own. We can check this with the car in front of us, which comes back to the road just after the warnings and bars closing it, just for being forced to go through big stones to go to the temporary way when get the machines working on the road.

   This adds an important delay to this trip and it’s at sunset when, close to reach our destination, we meet the signs marking the Equator line. We stop for some pictures with them and go on to find the way to the Thomson’s Falls or our hotel, which is the same. We do this in the darkness of night and with the help of the GPS as there are no signs for it although it is the main attraction of this city.

Works in the road to NyahururuCrossing Equator in the way to Nyahururu
















   There is a wedding celebration in the Thomson’s Falls Lodge, but as rooms are across the parking area, we have no noise from our rooms.

   As it is early, we go down to the bar to take something with the live music and taking advantage there is a happy hour until 9 PM. We are not hungry, so we ask our half board be for a packed lunch for tomorrow, which they accept. I also ask about the status of the road to Lake Bogoria as some months ago was completely removed by the strong rains in the area. They’ll answer tomorrow morning, when they can ask to the tour guides and drivers.