Tuesday, January 10, 2017

Nakuru National Park with the Missionaries

God's creations are so amazing.  How he could have ever come up with ideas for some of the animals is beyond my puny brain!  All things in nature prove to me that there really is a God and that he loves us and cares when even the smallest sparrow falls to earth.  He loves us, his children, and he also loves all of his creations from dogs to warthogs to black and brown and white-striped zebras to gangly long-necked giraffes to teeny-tiny Red-cheeked Cordonbleus and Purple Grenadiers.  He loves them all and so do I.

We had a wonderful morning driving around Nakuru National Park with Elder Noel and Elder Odhiambo.  Saw my wonderful zebras and giraffes, baboons and warthogs, lots of antelope-type creatures and . . . a rhino!!! So now we've seen four of "The Big Five":  leopard, buffalo, elephant, and rhino.  We just need to see a lion.  I don't know why the zebra, giraffe, and hippo aren't in the list because they are amazing creatures too.

And it's so much nicer to see them in the wild.  I will never look at animals in a zoo with the same eyes ever again.  I remember seeing penguins in the zoo after we had seen them in the wild during our trip to Chile/Argentina/Antarctica.  I could hardly stand to see them behind glass.  And they weren't nearly so cute as in the wild either.

Makalia Waterfall in the park.  Not much water falling at this time of year.  There was a herd of antelope drinking here but we scared them away.  Ran so fast with long, loping strides.  For a minute I hoped a lion had scared them but I think it was just us.  And, as we were out of the truck, I'm glad it wasn't a lion!

A huge herd of buffalo.  At first I was not excited to see buffalo because we have buffalo at home. In fact our nephew raised one until it kept rubbing against their house and wrecking things.  But these African buffalo are truly interesting.  And they can be dangerous too.

And again, I wasn't very excited about antelope/deer-type creatures.  But they are actually very beautiful.  So many types: gazelles, impalas, elands, waterbuck, hartebeest, wildebeest, duikers and the tiny dik-diks.  Don't you love the horns on that Grant's Gazelle?  

I have so many pictures of zebras and can't get enough of them.

Baboons climbing trees.  Fun!

We saw so many baboons this trip.  Right beside the highway.  Playing in trees in the park.

Love this picture of a Red-billed Oxpecker pecking ticks and other bugs off this African buffalo.

LeRon and Colleen overlooking Lake Nakuru.

Elder Noel and Elder Odhiambo in their P-day clothes enjoying the sunshine by Lake Nakuru.

A whole flock of Helmeted Guineafowl ran across the road in front of our vehicle.  Their skinny speckled bodies and bright blue heads are striking.

If you click on this picture, you will be able to see the brown tones in the zebra lying on the ground.  And the different stripes are easily noticed in the two standing zebras.  Interesting how the stripes continue up the mane.

Zebra just chillin' under the tower of a high power line.

Elder Odhiambo and Elder Noel at another look-out point above Lake Nakuru.

We were busy looking right and left, trying to spot wildlife when Elder Odhiambo announced that there was a rhino RIGHT IN FRONT OF US on the road!! So exciting.  Our first rhino!

Oxpeckers pecking away at insects on this White Rhino.  Even though there are White Rhinos and Black Rhinos, all rhinos are actually gray!

Elder Odhiambo was born in Nakuru and grew up in Kisumu and Nairobi so he was very familiar with Rhinos.  He said that for sure it is a White Rhino and that it is a fairly young one.

Black rhinos have more pointy mouths and White rhinos have flat, broader mouths.  This rhino is trying very hard to hide from us as he blends into the dry grass behind the bush.

Good view of the rhino's two horns!

This is either a Cattle Egret or a Yellow-billed Egret on the back of this buffalo.  They like to eat insects kicked up by the buffalo.  I would guess it's a Cattle Egret since it's on a "cattle-type" creature!

This zebra looks like it's seen better days if you look closely at its skin.

Love those stripes!

These vines growing on bushes look like they should be in a Lord of the Rings movie.

And then there's the graceful giraffe, crossing the road just in front of us.  Lovely!

Zebra and a Cattle Egret (probably).  Notice how dry the grass is.  This is definitely the dry season.  Everyone said it would get blazing hot in December and January and yes, it's hot during the day, but nothing like we've seen some summer months in Alberta.  I don't think it gets much over 85 here and in some summers, we've had 95 degree weather.  (Yes, I'm still using Fahrenheit even though Canada's been metric since 1975.  Actually, I'm bilingual -- I understand kilograms, at least I know that there are 2.2 lbs in a kilogram!  And 250 grams in a cup.  Or is it 500 grams in a cup?  Hmn . . . But I still like Fahrenheit and feet and inches.)

More baboons in the trees.  They're so ugly, they're cute.

Imagine running up and down tree trunks and swinging by the tail.  I know monkeys swing by the tail, but do baboons?

More interesting landscape.

We had a staring contest with this giraffe.  I think we won because it moved off the road and into the bushes.

Click to enlarge and you will see a "Yellow-billed Stork".  Gorgeous red skin above its yellow beak.

Grey Heron down by Lake Nakuru.

Lake Nakuru, along with other lakes in the Great Rift Valley are "alkaline soda lakes" having a very high concentration of carbonate salts.

I wondered why there were so many dead trees in the water and Elder Odhiambo told me that it was because it was a salt lake.  I was surprised and didn't really believe him till I looked it up and sure enough . . .  The Great Salt Lake in Utah is not the only salt lake around!  I knew the Dead Sea was salty and was in the Rift Valley but I never thought of other lakes.

Pelicans napping on driftwood on Lake Nakura.  Are they Great White Pelicans?  Not sure.

A Great White Egret enjoying the salty water.

LeRon, Elder Noel, Elder Odhiambo  soaking in the sun by the lake.  Lots of alkali on the beach.

LeRon and Colleen at another lookout point.

Last look at my lovely zebras in the shade on a hot day.

Click on this picture to see the sign:  "Customer Service."  The lake has risen and this place is no longer usable.  On the other side it said something about "Tourists."  Funny.


  1. I love all the pictures you post, especially since it doesn't look like I'll get there to see them in person! What beautiful animals, how neat that you saw so many! I will definitely show the kids these pictures!