Hell’s Gate National Park


Hell’s gate scenary

Hell’s gate is a special park in Kenya  in the sense that you can cycle or walk around. It’s located near Lake Naivasha, 150 km from Nairobi.  The main attraction is the Gorge, located 8 km from Elsa Gate.   The Routard said it could remind us of Petra in Jordan… well let’s not exagerate please… But the Gorge can get water and there there were hot springs were you can even boil eggs!

The other beautiful part of the park is the scenary. Huge special rocks I hadn’t seen anywhere else in Kenya…

And zebras, warthogs, many birds…interesting plants, flowers… insects.

I chose to ride a cycle myself, and I thought I saw a buffalo from a distance. Then I laughed at how ridiculous this was: there could not allow people to walk or ride around if there were actually buffalos inside the park! Buffalos are the most dangerous aggressive animals, that was literaly impossible…So I proceeded to the Gorge.

And on the way back I saw not one but many buffalos… staring at me….mmm… let me take a deep breath…as I cycle past them…

Waooo….that was scary!

Remember to click on one of  the picture to view all  the gallery in full-screen

A lesson of motherhood & life : baby Thompson’s gazelle’s first steps in life

new-born thompson's gazelle

new-born thompson’s gazelle

Probably the highlight of my visit to Lake Nakuru’s National Park is to have been blessed to see a new-born Thompson Gazelle make its very first steps in life.  She was still wet from birth, her mother had been licking her to clean her. Both for this reason were harassed by flies. At first I was surprised to see that they were far from the group of gazelles.

I was waiting for the moment… I was so absorbed in it, that I even forgot to film it! How I regret not having caught with my camera the moment when defying gravity the calf stood on its thin legs for the first time in its life! Where could he find the strength after the tremendous effort of birth, to fight against gravity? A new-born human baby would require months before finding the strength for such an effort: but in wildlife, they couldn’ t afford such luxuries…

What was the motivation behind this instinct? Maybe hunger and thurst after the effort… Here we see the perfection of creation. It was so hungry and thirsty that this made gave the new-born strength! Indeed it was impossible for it to feed if sitting. And the mother would certainly not bend down for him. She would empower her calf, to stand up to her! What an amazing mum! Continue reading

Wildlife in lake Nakuru

Magical Lake Nakuru

Pour la version française, voir en-dessous de la galerie de photos.

To see the pictures in full screen in a diaporama click on the first picture

Lake Nakuru is a saline lake located at north west of Nairobi. It is known as the birdwatchers paradise. The lake’s water level varies: twice it dried up completely: it depends on rains. Two species of  flamingos inhabit the lake : the lesser and greater flamingo. They are the pride of Lake Nakuru.

The park is home to white rhinos – 100 individuals-, a few lions, waterbucks, impalas, Thomson gazelles, a few leopards, buffalos, rothchild giraffes, zebras and more than 400 species of birds.

The Reserve was created in 1963.

This is how magical it looks, at dawn..

Pour visualiser un diaporama en mode plein écran, cliquez sur la première photo de la galerie.

Le lac Nakuru est un lac alcalin situé au Nord-Ouest de Nairobi. Il est surnommé le paradis des ornithologues. La niveau de l’eau du lac varie, à deux reprises il a été complètement asséché, car il dépend de la pluie. Le lac est habité par deux espèces de flamants:  le flamant nain et le flamant rose qui font la fierté du lac.

Le parc contient aussi des rhinocéros blancs – une centaine d’individus- quelques lions et léopards, des gazelles de Thomson, des kob defassa, des girafes de Rothschild, des zèbres et plus de quatre cents espèces d’oiseaux.

La réserve a été créée en 1960.

Admirez la magie de l’aurore qui fait baigner le lac et ses habitants dans sa lumière dorée.

Maasai Mara

Single male elephant in the Savannah

Single male elephant in the Savannah

Safari is a kiswahili word meaning ” to go”, to go on a trip.

Meryl Streep/ Karen Blixen: Did you think you would stay for the night?

Robert Redford/ Denis Finch-Hatton: I can’t I’ve booked a safari. I’m going to the Mara.

Out of Africa. Click here to read an article about Karen Blixen and her home in Nairobi

The largest wildlife reserve of Kenya

Wildebeest feeding

Wildebeest feeding

Maasai Mara is known as the largest wildlife reserve in Kenya. It’s named after the river Mara which is shared with Tanzania, and famous for being crossed in June and October by the wildebeest which migrate South to Tanzania’s Serengeti National Reserve.  It’s very risky….many of them are killed by the crocodiles.

In Tanzania, the name of the territory is Serengeti. The reserve is shared by both countries, Tanzania having the largest portion of it. It is 25000 km2 out of which  1800 km2 are located in the Kenyan territory. It’s at 1600 m altitude, which means that it’s not as hot as we could expect.

Sausage tree

Sausage tree

In Maasai Mara, the mountains are purple, the sky is deep blue, the grass of the savannah is the same colour as the lions fur and on the trees, sausages grow. They are used by the Maasais to make beer (check this article regarding how they make beer out of the fruit of the sausage tree). Continue reading

Nairobi Safari walk

Nairobi National Safari Walk is located next to the Langata Barracks.

This centre provides a shelter for orphan animals that would have no chance of survival in the wild. Wild animals need to be taught how to hunt, and these have not been taught. Each species is left to live  in a portion of land and is fed. They can’t be mixed with other species the way they are mixed in Nairobi National Park because they would have no chance of survival.

It’s a kind of zoo, the essential difference being that here their captivity allows them to live, in fact survive. Whereas in Europe to me it’s seems like the animals are in jail.

I hope you’ll enjoy the video!

Shimba Hills National Reserve

Shimba hills is located in the Mombasa area. It’s a National Reserve where elephants, giraffes, buffaloes, baboons, antilopes and sable antilopes can be seen…

If we are looking for a water point and we find this tree it means the water is not far. This tree needs a lot of water and only grows where it can be found. The fruit of this tree was used as washing soap as once opened it produces foam.

Foam tree

This palm tree is the only one with branches. Its fruit is reddish and it ferments rather easily – although I didn’t understand how- and once it ferments the elephants eat it and get slightly tipsy , just like in Jumbo. By the way this is a Swahili word meaning “ hello”.

This is called crocodile liana and you can easily understand why…

Also here Sable antilopes can be found: it’s one of the only places where this graceful animal can be seen

And here is a video for you to watch

Excursion to Washini Island, Mombasa

Washini Island is a small island 7km long and 5 km large – yes dad, even smaller than Singapore and here there is no space for airplanes! – along the southern coast of Kenya. It was discovered 200 years ago by the Arab traders. Today it is home to two villages which include…. a football club! There are baobab trees, just like in Le Petit Prince which also takes place in Africa.

When I decided to go to Mombasa on Wednesday morning I had hesitated. only 4 days off, and 12 hours to reach that’s 24 hours for the return trip… and alone… But these were my only day of my only opportunity to see more than Nairobi. Of course when God gives me an iopportunity….

And such the beauty of life is that our efforts always pay off!. I didn’t know that 48 hours after making this decicion, one of my lifetime dreams would come true!

There are many reasons to make an excursion there

-1)  first of all, you will be able to snorkel around the Kisite Marine Park which is believed to have the best diving spot in Kenya. Here no need to have completed a padi diving course, snorkeling is enough! Had I known this I would have taken my underwater camera, but I left it in Paris! Sorry no pictures, but just imagine a variety of colourful corals, resembling the human brain painted by a surrealistic painter, and that it! If you know the names of the fish: well parrot fish, angel fish, clown fish… to name a few, otherwise come over and see for yourself!

That was my lifetime dream number 1

2) Another dream came true! Seeing dolphins in their natural habitat! The guide on the boat started the excursion saying ” Dolphins are wild animals and we can’t guarantee 100% that you’ll see them but….”. Then I thought, well that’s gonna be tough, but if I think about them, I’ll see them for sure!

And we did! we saw three dolphins diving in and out the waters! The people on the boat kept laughing they really spread happiness around those dolphins. Their “face” is really expressive it seems that they are smiling!

3) The water is really clean just like in everyone’s dreams!

4) Washini hosts another surprise!

On the island itself ” A coral island the guide said” there are some limestone rocks sprouting out the land.

They are in fact, it’s clear to see, the same corals, but this time dead ones….from a time the island was submerged: the sea has retroceded millions of years ago, and the corals remain there as unaltered sculptures.

The fisherladies catch some crabs in the salty mangrove waters.

5) Just driving there will allow you to see the beautiful coastal landscapes and the traditional habitat.

I would like to turn back time and be the Eva before seeing that so that I can get this mesmerizing sense of surprise!

You can have a look at this video and see Kenya’s coast through my eyes ( or at least my camera….!)