Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Overdue pictures of animals! And Mountains!

Well, I had meant to post this over a week ago, but our internet has been very spotty this last week. Also, I like posting pictures and it always feels a little awkward to take pictures of patients on the wards. Last weekend we took a trip to Hell's Gate, Lake Naivasha, and Mount Longonot National Park. I have to say, it was probably the most fun trip I've been on in my three trips to Kenya.

It was about a 4 hour drive to the parks, and we started on Saturday with Hell's Gate. There aren't any carnivores in the park, so you can hike and even rent mountain bikes to bike around the park. The bikes were all probably 15+ years old with varying braking and shifting capacities - mine was nice and had TWO working gears. :) As you bike along the dirt road you can see ostrich, zebra, warthogs, giraffe, and assorted gazelle-like animals, and eventually reached the gorge.

With our driver and tour guide-extraordinare, Javann, we hiked down into the gorge.
The gorge is probably at least a mile in length, with high walls carved by the river at the bottom (just a stream while we were there) After hiking through the gorge and then back to the top, we were ready for the bike back to the gate. However, due to poor planning on the part of the Kenya Wildlife Service, the bike back to the gate was entirely uphill. :)

The next morning we woke up early to go to Lake Naivasha, where parts of the film Out of Africa were shot. We took a boat tour to see hippos and birds and were able to take a walking tour of Crescent Island, where giraffe and wildebeast and zebra and assorted gazelle roam freely.

After our boat tour we headed over to Mount Longonot national park, an extinct volcano, standing about 9,000 feet high. You climb up the mountain to the rim of the crater, and then hike around the rim. It was a long hike, but definitely worth the sunburn (and subsequent two days of residual soreness) once we got to the top!

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