Travel G-spots

POV {+ travel tips}: Lake Naivasha, Kenya

Elsamere Home was the selling point.

It’s ok. I didn’t have a clue either. Not even when I was told repeatedly Born Free. Ya’ll know? Born Free. Yeah. Born Free”

People have to understand that people who don’t understand them the first time around, do NOT have a hearing problem. Repeating the words without any effort of elaborating on the subject matter, or intend, or input-ing variations to the words is not going to make someone suddenly understand them.

And why raise one’s voice? I am not deaf. Yes, my senses are not defunct, but perhaps … your brain is. 

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Lake Naivasha 

(derived from the local Maasai name Nai’posha, meaning “rough water” because of the sudden storms which can arise)

I know nothing about it, which got me reading the Lonely Planet and Bradt.

Reading Bradt in the truck from Nairobi to Lake Naivasha 

It promises a sizable population of hippos and 400 different species of bird life. The highlight being the African Fish Eagle {apologies to all serious ornithologist, if I got it wrong; it’s an eagle and it eats fish}.  plus Elsamere

Sorry – call me a snob.

I am generally keen on those fat arse, barking, badly in need of a dentist hippo. But I have developed an indifference if I don’t spot any of them doing crazy jaw exercises or arse kicking antics. See, I had been spoiled and thrilled in Botswana exactly a year ago when one hippo decided to charge my barge for hitting its broad bottom. Thereafter, it takes a lot to amuse me or hold my attention on the hippo front.

As for the feathered “friends” … we all know where I stand with this; that is if you’ve been a reader of my other blog – the one where I rant mostly.

And though I always start off with good intentions taking more than the necessary quota of bird photos for myself to forward them to Pak Selamat who is an avid bird watcher, fact is, I never get to my photos until they are at least 2-3 years old. As a result he has to date not received any of my bird photos.

Though admittedly, I do have the habit of clicking away – simply because it’s a good way to keep me focused … and being in the digital era, I tell myself: how many sane people cares about shutter count when they buy a second-hand professional gear? 

Everyone really; as non-professionals will not shop for professional gears, and all professionals are anal when it comes to shutter count! Hobbyist who shops professional gears are typically gear hoarders with no talent but pockets; hence, they won’t even look my way for second hands and discounted hand me downs.

Digital photo © {p}.Haque – All Rights Reserved

Anyways, I digress…

True to the guide books – albeit on only a single point as my encounter with the hippos was all but 3 sets of nostrils no bigger than the head of a pin from where my speedboat was and the birds were limited despite being aided telescopic lenses – Lake Naivasha is beautiful, with swamp land covering close to half the lake’s surface area at  64 square km vis-a-vis 140km²; a figure that fluctuates depending on rainfall.

L1040991

Digital photo © {p}.Haque – All Rights Reserved

A freshwater lake, situated northwest of Nairobi, outside the town of Naivasha, Lake Naivasha receives a fair bit of domestic and international tourist due to its proximity to Nairobi (approximately 2.5 hours drive on well paved dual carriage way roads).

Elsamere Home  however appeals and caters to foreigners with a price tag to match. Fitting the first description, my boat guide made the “mandatory” stop where I was shoved to a room with its curtains drawn to watch a grainy video on Joy Adamson‘s life that includes the various men (and marriages that ensued) in her life time and the one mammal that made her famous – Elsa the lioness.

Her conservation effort went on to include a leopard (or was it cheetah? oh well, the spotted rosette cats if you must!) after Elsa, and  all of this was within her home that’s built on the shores of Lake Naivasha.

Spotting a rash I had cultivated from handling a millipede that had taken shelter in my life jacket with my bare hands, frankly I was too distracted to care about Joy Adamson, but did not fail to notice that it’s been at least 15 years since I last saw a VHS player and VHS cassettes which works! , ignoring the 3 collective minutes of white noise.

The museum-cum-souvenir shop in the residence was  nothing to shout about, but the tea spread was however mind blowing; largely due to the fact that it is a lovely change to the authentic local Kenyan food I have been sustaining life on.

Tea spread included  homemade preserves! scones! muffins! apple crumble! bread butter pudding! plus an assortment of I don’t know what pudding, mousse looking stuff which I avoided for fear of semolina.

Elsamere Conservation

Digital photo © {p}.Haque – All Rights Reserved + Joy and George photo with Elsa from the Elsamere Conservation Trust

Long story short, Lake Navaisha is a scenic lake that’s worth a visit if you’re in Nairobi and need a a short trip and respite from the city.

But if you’re out hippo hunting and expecting high density, curious looking wildlife with dense marshland that stretches to no ends, Okavango Delta in Botswana is the place to go.

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 The change in habitat and shift fish composition of Lake Navaisha has been a discussion in the international media with the accidental introduction of the common carp in 2001, as well as the questionable green practices of foreign companies involved in Kenya’s large floriculture sector.

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One comment on “POV {+ travel tips}: Lake Naivasha, Kenya

  1. Pingback: Forceful Evictions of MAASAI Leave Homes Burned and Thousands Homeless in Naivasha, Kenya | www.HumansinShadow.wordpress.com

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