130823 Amboseli – Aderdare National Park

The Plan

Narobi’s famous Safari Park is your Included lunch destination today, followed by a drive to Mount Kenya National Park, home to the imposing, extinct volcano.  FB L D

Some Information

The park boundary follows the edge of the Kinangop Plateau – at an altitude of more than 3,000 m – and includes a forested area to the east where the two main lodges are situated.  This is where Princess Elizabeth was staying when she learnt of her accession to the throne in 1952.

Many species roam the Aberdares: elephant, buffalo and wild boar, rhinoceros and the extremely rare black panther. The bamboo forests are home to a little-seen antelope, the bongo.  The dense foliage reduces the ability to detect wild life.  It rains almost all the time and the paths turn into quagmires.  However, the rain provides many waterfalls which enhance the scenery of the area.

How the day turned out

Another early start as we leave this oasis for the northern regions of Kenya.  The trip on the ‘massage table’ is still rough but the time goes a little faster, it seems.  We do not have to cross borders today, but we still have over 400 kms to travel before reaching our accommodation for the night.  Most of our travel is at 80kph – the speed limit for 4WDs.

We lunch at Safari Park near Nairobi.  From here on, we encounter lots of active agriculture and many more people.  The landscape is lush and green and farms are full of food.  The villages along the way are very busy especially the markets on the side of the road.  You can feel the change from what we saw in the south.

We do a lot of altitude climbing as we head towards Aberdare National Park which is at a height of 6,800 feet.  Arriving at Aberdare just feels so much different.  We are told our accommodation is not going to be the 5 star ratted we have enjoyed during the first 2 weeks of our tour.

We are staying at The Ark.  It was built by a New Zealand family in the 70’s and is shaped a little like – an ark.  There are various levels, each with a viewing platform, some covered.  This is to allow us to view the animals as they come to the water hole for drinking and salt replenishment.  The area has natural salt content and the animals need to visit a couple of times a week.  The accommodation is comfortable and in a hostel type of setup.  The doors do not have locks on them for security while we are not ‘in’ the room.  So, locked bags it is.  The evening meal is up to standard of course.

During the night, if an animal enters the area, a buzzer sounds to let us know; one buzz tells us one of the BIG five are here, two buzzes that another beast of interest is at the water hole.  Fortunately, there is a switch so we can turn off the ‘buzzing’ during our sleeping time.  We see black rhinoceros early in the evening and just as we are getting into bed, an elephant comes by for water.

This will be an interesting few hours as we have a late exit from ‘The Ark’.  Off to Lake Nakuru tomorrow where there is supposed to be a wealth of bird life.

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