We got up early again and sadly left Mombasa to head back to Nakuru. It was hard to believe our time was up already! We made one stop to put water in the van, which took awhile since no one had a funnel! While we were waiting for that to get done, a few of us played Frisbee in the service station parking lot! I actually found out that I could throw a Frisbee still! We drove most of the day and arrived back in Nakuru around 6pm or so. That night, we had an amazing dinner of creamed vegetable soup, fresh bread, chicken, rice, vegetables, bread pudding, custard, and chocolate cake. We ate dinner with a fascinating Dutch couple, who were taking a trip across Africa for about 3-4 months! They were very nice and very entertaining!
We slept late this morning and then had a great breakfast there at Camp Kembu! It consisted of fresh bread, fresh fruit, and Spanish omelets with sausage! What a great breakfast! Once again, we ate with the Dutch couple and wished them farewell! They were so kind and funny!
Late that morning, we found a guide and took off for a mountain hike! It was great! We saw a dry waterfall canyon, which was really pretty! The mountain we hiked was fairly steep and Nathanael ended up caring my backpack and being a true gentleman! It also kept his shoulders from getting too sunburned! We got to see some amazing views from up on the mountain! One part was so steep that our guide hauled us ladies up by the hand. I thought he was just helping, not hauling me up so I accidentally bonked my knee on rocks! We visited people in the villages along the way as well. This one woman just kept smiling and laughing at one house and seemed to really enjoy meeting us! I felt like I saw God’s smile in her eyes! Later that day on the way back from hiking, I saw the sun shining through the clouds and once again felt God smiling at me! God was reminding me of His love through the simple things.
That night we decided to find dinner in town, instead of at the campsite. We found a little restaurant called “Twitter”. Quite funny, when Twitter is an Internet social network in the US! The restaurant was so new that the chef had not yet cooked everything on the menu! He came out and talked with us personally, though. By the time we were done, most us were quite satisfied with our hamburgers and chips (French fries). We enjoyed watching football (soccer) on the TV at the restaurant as well. Most of had not watch much TV for a long time! We then went back to the campsite and proceeded to take much-needed showers. We were assured the water was hot, yet it was not! I think one person had a hot shower! It was about 50 or 60 degrees that night as well, which was really cold after what we are used to in Kampala! Let’s just say, I had the coldest shower I had ever had the night!
Once again, we awoke early to leave for another day on road! It was freezing when I woke up, but I knew I had to wash my face! I told Nathanael I was going to wash my face and he said, “Good luck!” It took that to mean that hopefully it helps your face look better, though I think he meant good luck because it was so cold! It made me laugh nonetheless and I gave him a good push!
We soon got in the van for our trip to Masaii Mara to go on safari! For about an hour and half we drove on an extremely rough road that was dirt and partly cut out of rock as well! It was the roughest part of our trip road-wise! I definitely learned that I wasn’t going to be able to sleep on that part of the trip. The countryside was beautiful through this part though! The land was a light a patchwork quilt of farmland!
We stopped to buy sodas and I bought a traditional Masaii blanket wrap (can’t remember the name now), but it is red, green, orange, and yellow and made from warm material! The warriors wear them like a toga of sorts!
Early that afternoon, we arrived at Masaii Mara and took our things to the campground! We stayed at campground right outside the park that was run and guarded by Masaii warriors! We ate our peanut butter and jelly sandwiches and enjoyed relaxing for a while before we went on our evening game drive (safari). We drove up to the park and paid for our passes and then went on to look for animals with our Masaii guide telling our driver where to go. That evening we saw so many amazing animals! Some of the first animals we saw were giraffe, water buffalos, and elephants! Then we came up on the pride of lions! There weren’t any grown males visible, but we saw lots of young males and the head “mama” lion that the all the young males made sure to acknowledge! They young males were so beautiful and walked right past our vehicle! After that, we saw some wildebeests, guinea hens, impalas, more grumpy water buffaloes, a bush buck, warthogs, and finally, another pride of lions with the grown male lions this time! It was so cool to finally see an Aslan! He was beautiful! He was very docile due to having just eaten a big meal! We also saw some more giraffes, but it was too dark by then to get pictures of them!
That night we ate a good dinner at the campground! We had rice, cabbage, chicken, fruit, and tea. It all tasted very good! It was a beautiful night with lots of stars overhead, but we were too tired to enjoy them very much! We slept in tents that reminded me of the TV show MASH* that actually had bucket toilets and bag showers that were warm! It was great having a shower and toilet right in the tent and bed to sleep on for the night! We woke around 6am the next morning to go on our last game drive!
We got up and fixed coffee/tea and took off for our safari! It was cold morning and I was very thankful for my sweatshirt and even tied the hood tightly around my head to keep out the cool wind created by driving with the pop-up up on the van during the safari ride!
The first animals we saw were impalas or dik diks (both antelope-like animals). I got them confused easily! Then we saw some very fat zebras and more dik diks with them. I do believe that zebras must be related to donkeys with their body build and looks! Then we saw more elephants! The baby ones were soo cute! They reminded me of Babar! We also saw some antelope/deer-like animals that looked like their fur was patched together! Can’t remember the name! They are grey and brown in distinct patches! We then saw more wildebeests! We also saw some ostriches off in the distance! They were really neat! I had not even thought about seeing them!
After seeing the ostriches we reached the part of the park where Kenya met the Tanzanian border! We actually stood in Tanzania even though we technically weren’t visiting Tanzania! As if being in Tanzania wasn’t exciting enough, we came up on people watching something down in the river! The next thing we knew, we were being led by park ranger to watch hippos and crocodiles in the Mara River! What an incredible experience getting to see both hippos and crocodiles up close! Both animals are pretty dangerous!
After seeing these animals, we got to see some hyenas too! They are ugly and cute at the same time! Then we saw more elephants and zebras and more of those patched together antelope/deer animals and some more warthogs! Right at then end of our safari, we finally got some really great pictures of giraffes!
Then after fixing more PBJ sandwiches, we drove on to Kisumu where we planned to spend the night! We stopped at the Pentecostal church there and asked about accommodations. They sent us to a clean, very nice guesthouse called “Shalom Guesthouse”. We went out to for diner to a little French restaurant where I had beef with greens, which was pretty good! We then got a “tuk tuk” (a little car with three wheel, like a little cart hooked to a motorcycle) back to the guesthouse. It was bumpy experience and not nearly as fun as boda (motorcycle) here in Uganda! After returning to the hotel, we ordered tea and began playing games in the lobby. We played “Spoons,” which I was not very good at to start with! I then decided to be aggressive and actually beat Karli (our competitive PE teacher)! Once again, I went to bed late and we awoke early to head home!
We had a nice breakfast at the hotel and took off for Kampala! I think we were all a little sad to be going home, since we had such a nice time! We had a safe trip home with minimal time getting back across the border, though I had to get a new Ugandan visa because mine had expired during our trip!
Post Script: Overall, it was an amazing trip and my pictures are all on Facebook! Let me know if you can’t see them and I can send you a link! I will be happy to share pictures when I get home in June! It’s coming quickly!