Thursday, January 10, 2013

Exploring - Lake Naivasha's Crecent Island

As you drive West out of Nairobi away from the coast and toward the interior of Africa you soon come to the Great Rift Valley.  This is basically a giant crevasse in the earth that extends from the Middle East down to Madagascar.  It is visible from space and is the only such rift that is not submerged under the ocean.  This is a picture of Mt. Longonot a volcano which most recently erupted around the early 1900's.  As you drive along the highway, high above the valley floor, you are about 8,000ft up and, because you are up on a plateau, the drop into the valley is essentially straight down!  The pictures cannot really show you how impressive this outlook is to witness.  Later on, the highway finds it's way down onto the valley floor where there are many lakes, and fertile farmlands.

Lake Naivasha

My first Dung Beetle!   It is something that I had seen depicted so many times on National Geographic etc... that to see it in person was strangely exciting.

That's right folks; no all!

 Crecent Island is a little crooked finger that sticks out into Lake Naivasha.  You can drive onto the island (it is separated from land only by a swamp.)  The island is protected land for the animals who live there including many of the most spectacular species in Africa, but not including any dangerous predators.  Therefore, it is safe for people to roam around with the animals in a way that would not be possible where there might be lions or even elephant.  We were all very impressed by this experience.  My favorite was the baby giraffe who was reportedly less than 24 hours old!  We got to catch a little glimps of it close to it's very nervous mother.  There were two other baby giraffes who were less than a year old roaming nearby. 

 We were able to make this trip because I had just received my new car the day before.  It is a 4wheel drive - so can handle the dirt roads.  It also has a sun roof; essential for up close viewing of wildlife on Safari!

wildebeests facing off

Tawney Eagle 

Young Giraffe

 Just as we were walking back to the car to leave we noticed a sheep with two baby lambs who had been born within the last hour or so.  They were just beginning to figure out how to stand and hop around.  So sweet!

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