Posted: October 20, 2011
Name: Jenny McCarty
School: University of Denver
Program: Wildlife Management Studies, Kenya
Kilimanjaro Bush Camp is being taken over by baboons! Large, crazy, smart baboons. But these baboons are like three year olds throwing temper tantrums compared to the colossal, fearless, and overwhelming in number baboons of Lake Nakuru. Unless you have a large stick or slingshot in hand I do not advise you go after them. You will most likely end up the one being chased.
Such fearlessness is a common trait displayed by most of the animals of Lake Nakuru. My classmates and I were within yards of cape buffalo, zebra, impala, jackals, waterbuck, and the rare Rothschild giraffe and white rhino. The group favorites, however, were definitely the perching leopards waking to the waning light of dusk and the lions stalking a cape buffalo calf.
Though charismatic megafauna are wonderful to behold, the scenery of Lake Nakuru itself was breathtaking. The place is replete with lofting cliff escarpments, rolling grasslands, lush forests, fowl-filled waters, and dramatic rain clouds. I cannot express how shocked I was at seeing so much water after spending so much time in the dry lands of Kimana Group Ranch. I have to admit that one of my most memorable moments was simply exiting the car to step barefoot onto the soft grasses of our campsite.
Expedition is by far my favorite experience in Kenya thus far. By night I relaxed with my new family around a fire swapping ghost stories and embarrassing moments and by day I beheld amazing nature…and chased baboons with sticks.