Day 3: Crescent Island, Kenya – Big Brother’s African Brother

Lake Naivasha

Day 3: 31 July 2002 10:00 pm

The group go on their first excursion to Crescent Island.

Lake Naivasha is a fresh water lake that is home to a huge variety of birds,
(Kenya has over 1200 different species of birds) but has a serious water
hyacinth problem and has been contaminated by the run off from the
surrounding flower farms.

We did a guided walking safari on Crescent Island ($20 per person), a bird
sanctuary on the eastern side of the lake that is also home to Masai
giraffe, zebra, dik diks, steenbok, impala and gazelles. It was quite
liberating to walk among the giraffe and zebra with no fences or barriers
between you and the wildlife. At one point, we were encircled by 15 giraffe
(adults and babies).

A keen birdwatcher would have a field day here – we spotted fish eagle,
pelicans and storks. The morning started off cloudy, but the sun is very
deceptive here – it burns in minutes.

The afternoon was spent having a cream tea at Elsamere (admission Ksh 350),
the former home of Joy Adamson. We watched the ‘Joy Adamson Story’ on video
which Tom found so interesting – he was quietly snoring at the back. Joy
wrote the best selling book "Born Free" about Elsa the lioness that Joy
saved as a cub and then rehabilitated back into the wild, while still
maintaining a unique and intimate relationship with her. Joy seemed to
having an amazing affinity with all animals. Elsamere is now a conservation
centre and focuses on environmental awareness programs. The best part of the
visit was coming close to black and white Colobus monkeys and stuffing
ourselves full of freshly made cakes.

Back at camp, we huddled under the tarpaulin as it tipped down (felt like
being back at home).

There are four married couples in our group and the age range is older than
I expected. Roberta and Beth are the youngest at 20 and live in a
completely different world from the rest of us. Even though they are a
scream and quite entertaining, I expect that they will become extremely
annoying. The common themes in their lives are only ever drinking
unpasteurised milk, craving red meat, their stomachs, pony club, living only
in the kitchen round the Aga and polo horses. If I hear Roberta refer to
"Mummy and Daddy back on the farm" once more, I may throttle her.

There are only five men in the group but our driver told us that it is quite
common to find far more women than men, as single women like to do overland
trips through Africa rather than go it alone.

There is a great emphasis on hygiene on the trip and a bowl of Dettol is
always on hand to wash your hands and there is Dettol spray on the truck for
inappropriate toilet stops.

Tom is convinced that there is a food conspiracy going on. There is only
ever just enough food for everyone to have a portion at breakfast, lunch and
dinner and he always complains that he feels hungry. There is no danger of
us putting on weight on this trip. He thinks our tour leader keeps the
remainder of the kitty at the end of trip, so it is in our tour leader’s
interest to starve us. The current budget for food is $3 per person per
day.

Positives: Fantastic experience to walk among zebra, antelope and giraffe.

Negatives: Is there something as sinister as a food conspiracy or is it
paranoia from the Lariam?

 

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