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Safari in Kenya Anyone?

From Ngong to the Rift Valley, Kenya 

Ever wonder what a voluntouring holiday is like? Corinne Taylor of Bucket List Travel Adventures shares her experiences on safari in Rift Valley, Kenya.

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Setting up camp in the scenic Rift Valley 

The time had finally arrived to head out on safari and I was curious to see how this Safari in Kenya would compare to my previous one in Tanzania. Travelling out of Ngong, we stopped to look out over the scenic Rift Valley, our excitement growing. After several bumpy and dusty side road short cuts, we arrived at Fisherman's Camp, our home for the next two nights. We chose a campsite and quickly set up camp and then headed down to another section of the lake.

pelicans by the riverpelicans by the riverAs we drove down the laneway, we spotted a wide band of pink along the shore - the flocks of flamingos we'd been promised. Cameras ready, we headed out to the lakeshore to get as close a view as we were allowed. Just as we finished up and were ready for our hippo boat tour, the rain started. Sadly, we headed back to our campsite for some down time in our tents until we were summoned for dinner.

An unwelcome dinner guest

While the rain put an end to the afternoon fun, our cook didn't disappoint. Jon treated us to a traditional meal of Ugali (thick corn porridge), fried cabbage, vegetables and stewed lentils. We all tucked in heartily to this simple yet delicious meal and knew we wouldn't be going hungry on this safari. After dinner we grabbed a log around the roaring campfire to warm up and relax.

That's when we heard the thrashing sounds, followed by crunching.

Upon investigation with headlamps and flashlights we experienced our first up close and personal hippo encounter. While hippos are herbivores, they're also the most aggressive of the big five safari animals. We were happy for the security of the tiny electric fence wires between us and him as we backed slowly away. We'd heard stories of hippos attacking tourist boats and tourists they viewed as a threat - and we didn't want to interrupt his dinner and be seen as a threat.

A bicycling safari in Hell's Gate

On our second day of the safari, we grabbed mountain bikes and road toward Hell's Gate National Park. After cycling by some menacing looking baboons, we spotted Zebras meandering down a hill towards us. We cycled farther into the park and left our bikes to walk down a trail in search for giraffes.

The giraffes had different ideas though and we only spotted them from a distance. Returning to the top of the hill, we were greeted by a giraffe near our bikes. As we watched, amazed and admiring his beautiful markings, a smaller one emerged and then a third. A truly breathtaking experience.

Time for our hike to Hell

spectacular waterfallsspectacular waterfallsAfter cycling past some wart hogs, zebras and baboons, we ended up at the "Entrance to Hell." We left our bikes and headed down into the deep gorges of this area. This is where the Lion King was sketched and we were excited as we recognized many parts of the landscape from the movies. The performers  in our group serenaded us with several Lion King tunes along the way.

As we climbed lower into the gorges past waterfalls, several of the group members challenged themselves to climb down narrow rock ledges and were not disappointed by the scenery. When we reached the bottom, we were met with towering views of the rock walls around us and were amazed at the hot springs streaming down around us. Several guides mentioned they throw eggs in the water to hard boil them for lunch. We asked where the hot tub was for a relaxing soak in these steamy sulfur laced waterfalls. But no luck - the water's simply too hot for humans.

Will we beat the rain clouds to lunch?

The promise of lunch at the top kept us climbing, as well as the grey clouds rolling in. As we settled into the picnic shelter under the watchful eyes of the local baboons, the clouds opened up.

This was starting to become an unwelcome routine.

The only thing we were worried about was riding our bikes back in the rain. Sammy, our driver, informed us we could leave the bikes and drive out with the vans if we were worried. We all jumped in the vans and headed out for some more game spotting. As the rain slowed, we spotted several more zebras and giraffes.

After a long and satisfying adventure, we headed back to Fisherman's camp hoping the weather would hold for our hippo viewing tour.

Read Corinne's other posts:

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About Corinne Taylor

Corinne Taylor ~ Bucket List Travel AdventuresCorinne Taylor ~ Bucket List Travel AdventuresI started in the travel industry over 17 years ago. I took my first journey to Peru in 2007, with my Mom, to hike the Inca Trail and venture into the rainforest, and that is how my love of adventure travel all began. The following year, I began arranging small group tours to South America. Requests from my clients to do other adventure destinations soon followed. Starting an adventure touring company was on my personal bucket list, and in February of 2011 Bucket List Travel Adventures was born.

Reach out to me on Twitter or Facebook and let me know what's on your bucket list. It might just be one of our next adventures and something we can cross off your list together.

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