Day 2 (25th June)
We were up at 4:30am in preparation for our first safari of the trip. I made the wise decision to bring the spare truck blanket with me on our safari 4×4, which was super welcome as it was bloody freezing. Honestly, that’s been the biggest shock of the trip so far; I never expected Kenya to be so cold in the mornings.
It took us an hour or so to get to Lake Nakuru National Park, which is famous for its buffalo. True to form, we saw hundreds of them! I think we were less than at our best for a good few hours when we were freezing and didn’t see an awful lot, but the day picked up towards lunch (even though lunch for me was at 9am when I ate my cheese sandwich). We stopped at Baboon Cliff to stretch our legs, get into the sunshine and take in the view. We got more than we anticipated though, because as I tried to get out the jeep a baboon clambered through the open roof and snatched the bananas off someone’s seat. I’m not going to lie, I shrieked pretty loudly. The baboons continued to prey on every vehicle that arrived, including a school bus which then left one of the pupils trapped inside with the baboon after her teacher slammed the door shut. After our driver Philip chucked some rocks at it it disappeared pretty quick though.
We encountered more cheeky monkeys at lunch when one climbed into the other jeep for our group and stole Christian’s sandwich, climbed up a tree and proceeded to choke on the cling film. Emily (Stebbs) tried to scared them off but got a pretty aggressive response so we all clambered back into our jeeps as quick as we could.
By the end of the day we saw 4 of the Big 5 – buffalo, rhino, leopards and lions. Elephants will have to wait until later. We all fell asleep at various points, but somewhere in between napping Becky managed to inform us that we definitely could eat buffalo because she’d had buffalo wings before. What a numpty…!
When we returned to the campsite, it was my cook group’s turn to cook, so James, Christian and I got to work on bangers and mash over the slowest fire I’ve ever seen. We had a lot of hungry campers to feed! The Numpty award for Day 2 went to Becky after 5 separate nominations (though admittedly about half of them came from me).
The next day we set off for our last destination in Kenya. I took great advantage of sunbathing on the “beach” and got maybe more than a little sunburnt. I was fooled by the cold morning start, but the midday sun was pretty brutal. We stopped in Eldoret for lunch, where a couple of us grabbed a quick sandwich before returning for our turn as truck guards.
We continued until we reached our campsite where we set our tents up and cracked open our newly stocked “bar” and sat in the garden with our drinks. Not far away there was a large group of local school children having a conference or something and when they finished they literally swarmed us! They wanted handshakes, high fives and when school boy Wesley whipped our his camera we posed for photos for a good 20 minutes. Every time we tried to move, there were cries of “Wesley! Wesley!” as his friends tried to get his attention for a photo. It was hilarious!
Over dinner (rice balls, which we named “Turbo Balls” after the campsite) we met Nick’s new friend Richard who he’d met at the bar and put him in touch with his cousin in Bristol – by the end of the night Nick was already on the phone organising to go for a drink with Richard’s cousin.
The Numpty for Day 3 went to Christian for his persistent effort to find 50 Shades of Grey in the truck library despite it already being in his hand (and on that note, our daily reading of 50 Shades started that day, to be narrated by Nick on all truck trips).
Sadly no chance to upload photos yet, you’ll just have to use your imaginations! I’m off to “enjoy” my gin and lemonade (no tonic at this bar…) on my last night in Uganda. Tomorrow we set off for Rwanda.