AfricaKenya

Welcome to Africa

“Karibu”, “Welcome” is one of the first words one learns in Africa. Because despite all the poverty the people here are incredibly open and friendly and shine a broad white smile at us. Many people, but especially the children, wave happily at us when we pass with our yellow truck driving through the countryside. So, despite all the safety concerns, Africa feels just great.
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Ah yes, the yellow truck, our home for the next 73 days, is a converted Scania truck with 28 seats. The side flaps can be opened completely, so that we have a wonderful view on the landscape and the numerous animals up close during our safaris. And, as already mentioned, this openness also takes away to some extent the separation between the people on the street and us tourists. But now more about our first country: Kenya.

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The starting point of our trip was the capital Nairobi, often called Nairobery because of its high crime rate. Thanks to our super cool couch surfing buddy Karl we spent three wonderful and relaxing days. He picked us up from the airport, had a new bed arranged for us and showed us a small section of Nairobi. Thus Karl led us to a restaurant with the culinary basics of Kenya, although they turned out rather simple. The main course in Kenya is Ugali, a rather tasteless mass of corn flour and water, served with beef stew or fish. Finally we went into a bar with live music and dancing.
The next day Karl showed us his working place, the International School in Nairobi. It is an impressive lovely area, secured like an embassy, for robberies and burglaries are on the agenda in the capital and our host told us a few hair-raising stories. In the evening we had an incredible dinner at an Ethiopian restaurant.

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On our last day in Nairobi we explored a local market and relaxed by the pool of Karl´s appartment. Then the first day of our tour started and we met our first 13 travel mates as well as our guide Kanyo and the driver Dixon. As it turned out, everybody was super nice. Our first destination was the Maasai Mara, one the largest national parks in Kenya. Named after the main residents of this area, the “land of dotted hills” (Mara) provides everything you wish for on a safari. In the rainy season the vast savannah of the Mara is populated by millions of wildebeest, zebras and buffalos, chased by lions, cheetahs and leopards. As we went over, unfortunately, it was the dry season, so the number of animals was lesser. But also a buffalo herd of 200 animals is quite an impressive look. And already during the first safari of our lives, we saw four of the “Big Five“. Only the leopard was and still remains elusive.

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With hundreds of animal photos on the camera we went on to a Maasai village where we êxperienced the life of this tribe, which is spread all over East Africa. The colorful clothes and the famous jump-dance were just two of many lasting impressions on our visit. By the way, in the morning every Maasai drinks a mix of cow’s milk and cow’s blood, almost like strawberry milk. Afterwards we went to the nearby school and watched the cute children.

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Our next destination was the Lake Naivasha, on which shores we had two very relaxing days, watching birds and organizing our photos. Located on the lakeside there are thousands of greenhouses, where the roses for Europe are growing in. Then we went to the salt-lake Lake Nakuru, famous for its up to 1.5 million flamingos. Unfortunately the lake was “watered down”, because of strong rainfalls, and therefore the algal food of flamingos largely died off. Thus we saw only a small part of the pink splendor. We were, however, rewarded with many many other animal experiences including rhinos, a lion and baboons. For the time being saturated with animal experiences, we went to the Kenyan-Ugandan border, where we just write the last lines of this blog …

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