Monday, January 16, 2012

Kenya Safari Part X continued

Yesterday I posted about our arrival at Sarovo Lion Hill Game Lodge. As the visitors arrived over the weekend, a special troupe of entertainers greeted them with  the song "Jambo!Jambo Kenya". Behind the lady on the far right, you can see the Christmas tree and the beautifully decorated entrance and lobby of the lodge.

There were various entertainers over the Christmas weekend
This handsome man in traditional Masai dress, handed a hot, refreshing towel to each visitor to mop brows on arrival

After lunch, and a rest in our room, Grant and I took our first drive through the park. Our quest was to find rhinos and of course, to spot a leopard!

The first wildlife we saw, was a herd of buffalo. Some enjoying a mudbath...

...while others relaxed in the long grass

Then it was time to head for the lake and some BIRDING! Yay! The flamingos have left for Lake Natron, the only regular breeding site for Lesser Flamingos. The exsistence of Lake Natron as the most important breeding site for these flamigos in the world, is under constant threat of development. However, the plan to build a soda ash plant on the lake, in northern Tanzania in the Great Rift Valley, has been shelved for now and the developers, Lake Natron Resources, have been ordered to produce a new and better environmental statement and consider other sites for soda ash extraction. The firm is jointly owned by the Indian company TATA Chemicals and the Tanzanian Government.

Down at the lake now though, we were met by the sight of hundreds of Great White Pelicans.

The Great White Pelican is a large gregarious all-white bird,with a blue-pink bill and a yellow pouch. It has bare pink skin around the eyes and the feathers on the head meet in a sharp point above the bill.

They roost and nest on the ground and fly and soar in V-formation when the distinctive black flight feathers can be seen.
This flock of pelicans, gathered on the edge of the inlet to the lake, soon performed their characteristic group-synchronised fishing for us. They land in the water and together they raise their wings and beat the surface, as can be seen in the photos above. This action brings the fish to the top and dinner is served!
Commorants and other waterbirds are found around the lake too
A pair of Cape Teal glided by
I love the multiple reflections in this photo
Driving back to the main route through the park, we passed a female buffalo and calf. Unfortunately the youngster was asleep in the grass and not very visible in the only photo I managed to get.
My first "baby" sighting in Lake Nakuru National Park , a buffalo calf well-camouflaged in the grass

A little further along we saw a few antelope/buck.

I'm never very sure of the id of buck and think the front one is a Hartebees and the one in the rear is an Eland

And then, around the next corner we came across my favourite sighting of the day: A pair of baboons with a baby!
Now isn't that just the cutest little baboon you ever saw? I love the huge ears - eat your heart out Mr Spock!
This young baboon was in a tree above the little family trio of baboons

Back at the lodge, we popped into the curio shop which, surprisingly, wasn't as expensive as we'd expected. Grant bought me a couple of pairs of pretty sandals and a bush hat. Grant already has a hat which he received as a gift when I won the dinner at the Sarova Stanley Hotel in Nairobi in November last year.

Then it was time to go back to our room and prepare for dinner.  The reception staff had invited us to the open area below the bar for an hour of traditional dancing by the entertainers. Before we left the room, however, we donned our hats, set up the camera and posed for a photo to send to our children in SA!
Corny tourists on safari!

While the visitors were seated in the sunken garden below the bar, several men in traditional dress set up their drums on the stage in front of us. As they beat the drums, the dancers appeared from the dark garden to the side of us ran up onto the stage moving their bodies to the beat with amazing energy and rhythm.
I struggled with my settings on the first night we watched these dancers. Eventually on Christmas Eve I managed to get very clear and unblurred photos of these amazingly fit and energetic dancers 

The lead dancer picked up a mic and told us where the songs and dances originated in Kenya. At the start of the last item,  he invited the audience to get up and join in. Of course, no one moved. I saw this dancer and another run into the audience and I whispered to Grant that he was going to come and ask him to join the dancing. He did make straight for us, reached out his hand and pulled ME to my feet! I followed him onstage and for the first time in my life (and I've lived on the African continent for almost 60 years!) I danced to the beat of African music and rhythm. I can't say it was easy as I was wearing my new backless sandals which threatened to trip me up at every turn. Looking around I saw a few people from the audience, (men and women) dancing on stage.

When I got back to my seat (hot and flustered, I might add!) Grant said he'd taken a few photos of me on stage.
C'est moi on stage and, for the first time in 60 years on this continent, dancing to an African beat!

I did my best to emulate my partner but my shoes were not made for dancing and neither is my body made for wriggling!

After the entertainment, we made our way to the restaurant for dinner. The selection of food was a gastronomic delight. There was an entire counter laden with soups, salads, nuts, seeds and dressings. Bread and rolls were displayed here as well. Grant always made for the meat counter while I wandered off to the vegetarian display on the other side of the diningroo. There were choices like spicy cabbage, roasted butternut, various legume dishes (lentils, moong, dahl), herbed potatoes, roasted arrowroot, steamed broccolli and carrots and a huge pile of chapatis, naan breads and papadums. Condiments were chillie/tomato and onion salsa, mango chutney and raita.

While we enjoyed our meal, a young Kenyan serenaded the diners. He fascinated me: he could sing any pop song (mostly from the 60's,70's and 80's) and knew every word of every song. When he came to our table, Grant asked him to sing House of the Rising Sun (this type of request gives away our age, lol!) and he gave the perfect rendition. After singing another song for us, Grant slipped him KSH500/US$6.25 ; he thanked us and moved to the next table.
This man gave a perfect rendition of House of the Rising Sun

A wonderful first day in Lake Nakuru National Park.

Have a wonderful week, everybody!


  1. What a fun post. I love your corny photo, lol. You both look great in your hats but I also got to see a bit of the rooms. I enjoyed the dancers and am so proud of you for getting up and giving it a try. You were a good sport! I love it when I travel and someone serenades the tables. I wonder where that young man learned all the music?

  2. Somehow I don't associate you with "House of the Rising Sun" but it has always been one of my favourites, Jo.
    I envy you seeing the baby baboon, and even the young buffalo hiding in the grass.
    Your pelicans are glorious. I don't think ours have such colourful bills, although we do have white pelicans here in Alberta.
    This is the second time today I've seen photos of pelicans and cormorants at the same time. Amazing. I guess they feed on the same fish, probably the ones the pelicans have summoned to the surface with their wing-splashing.
    A fascinating post.
    I'm sure I've missed some of your safari posts, but I'll just have to search them out. I've been very busy doing research for a possible (but not very probable) kitchen renovation. It's an expensive procedure, so I suspect we'll have to figure out a make-do solution because Dick would rather travel than worry about the kitchen. LOL
    Take care. Give the cats hugs for me. I loved seeing their photos today.
    Luv, K

  3. Stunning safari shots. What a great adventure! Love the corny tourist shots too.

    Darryl and Ruth :)

  4. Wow, this place offers it all. After an awesome day on safari being entertained and even part of the entertainment. What a great lodge.

  5. Phew, I have just been catching up with all your safari posts. Wow what an adventure you are having. All those animals and birds to see and wonderful accommodation and entertainment. Well done for participating. Great posts jo.

  6. Corny or not, it looks like a marvelous time! wow, thanks so much for sharing a culture totally outside of our understanding....

  7. Hi Jo, another great report on your safari trip. Cute photo of you and hubby wearing the hats. The entertainment, dancing and dining sounds wonderful too. It must be a fantastic place to stay. Thanks for sharing your post and photos. Have a great day.

  8. It looks like you got your groove on, Jo! I was amazed at the young man who knew all the words of all those old songs, specially "House of the Rising Sun!"

    I was amazed at the unison flapping of wings in the water that the pelicans did to catch fish! And the ears on that cute little baby baboon look almost like adult-sized ears!

    Great shots again, Jo!


Thank you for visiting my blog and taking the time to leave a comment. I appreciate your feedback. Jo