The Rift Valley – Kenya

A bit of shameless promotion here – this is a piece that I wrote for Visions of Africa about a trip to Kenya.  Needless to say it was a pretty awe-inspiring trip!  Check out the fish eagle catching his dinner…

A hungry giraffe!

A hungry giraffe!

Post-trip blues

I love it when a country or an experience really gets to you.  I have just come back from Kenya and I have to say I am in love!  I went with no pre-conceptions, no idea what to expect and I was bowled over completely.  Vast open landscapes, rolling plains dotted with giraffe, elephants, impala and all sorts of animals that I had only read about in books.

Zebra at Sweetwaters

The country varies so much though – we ventured from bustling Nairobi to the open plains of Sweetwaters to spot elephants in the rain – too wet for the cats.  From there to the foot of Mount Kenya and followed our rifle toting (for protection only!) guide out onto a nature walk to find the shy leopard.  She wasn’t to be found but her footprints were there, as were the hyena’s close behind.
Then into the great Rift Valley and a stay at one of the lakes that nestle at the bottom of this natural chasm.  The landscape changed again and the waterfront licked the sides of open grassland and a lone male buffalo glared at us for interrupting him.  We passed through forests of bright yellow fever trees, still looking for the elusive leopard who never showed her face.  It would help if she wasn’t the same colour as the trees!  The stars in the night sky and the frog chorus made it quite an ethereal experience.
Fever trees at Lake Elementeita

A short flight and our experiences changed from land animals into fish and I braved the waters of the Indian Ocean to snorkel with some beautiful fish – not sure what they all were but they were all lovely and for a novice snorkeller it was incredible!

I left the country after such a short time, but I knew I’d been bitten by it – I will definitely be going back there.  After all I still have to find my leopard…