Nairobi to Naivasha

After landing in one piece we collected our belongings and headed through visa control where we had to pay a steep $50 each for a visa (having been told it was just $25). We then went through to arrivals and met the Exodus group leader ‘Often’ and then the other travelers – Rob, Kathy, Adam & Nicola, Alan & Julie. We headed off to the Exodus truck and were driven to the Silver Hotel for breakfast where we met Chris, the last of the 9 member group. We also met our team driver Charles and cook Bernard. After breakfast we drove to the campsite at Naivasha. It was interesting to see the African landscape en route although we noticed a huge amount of rubbish littered all around. I guess they don’t get rubbish collections but it seemed such a shame and so nasty for the kids and animals that run all over the place. At the campsite we were given a tour of the van by ‘Often’ and then had lunch. We had a wonder around the campsite where we saw storks, tiny little blue birds and apparently hippos in the lake although we couldn’t see them at that stage. In the afternoon we took a little boat onto the lake to visit the resident hippos. It was amazing to get so close to these enigmatic (and extremely dangerous) creatures. We really only saw their eyes, ears and snouts but they were pretty noisy with their grunting and ‘laughing’ conversation. In addition we were treated to some almost habituated Fish Eagles that the boat drivers knew well. Fishing is banned in the lake at this time of year due to the fish being too young/small but the driver apparently bought some illegally. The driver stuck sticks in the fish so that they would float and then whistled to alert the eagles. He threw the fish into the lake and we waited for the eagles to soar in and pluck the fish from the water with their huge talons. It was quite a breathtaking display. We also spotted quite a few other birds during the trip – storks, egrets and beautiful kingfishers. I (Pheebs) was really chuffed as I have never managed to see one in the wild before, and they are so dinky. A little while later we arrived at Joy Adamson house ‘Elsmere’. It was a beautiful little spot. We wondered around the little museum of Joy and George’s lives with Elsa and the other lions. We then had afternoon tea on the lawn watching the graceful Colobus monkey! I (Pheebs) was obviously too slow with my cakes (as usual) because one of the monkeys launched itself from one of the trees onto the table and pinched my last two cakes right off my table, and then pinched stuff from other plates. It literally had a hand full of cakes. After the excitement we watched the Born Free documentary which was both humbling and inspiring. However, due to our lack of sleep we were almost dropping off in the heat. Eventually, we headed back to the campsite where we had a beer and a full briefing by Often. This was followed by a lovely hot cooked meal and bed (early!) in our great little two men tents.