Nairobi and Tsavo
Trip Start Dec 24, 2009
47Trip End Apr 25, 2010
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Where I stayed
Firstly I must say full marks to PC for spotting that we had miss-named the bird in the earlier blog for Ethiopia. PC, you passed the test, I'd have expected a UCT boy to spot that, as we were taught about the other type of 2 legged birds at Stellenbosch, and believe me the education there covered a very broad spectrum of very interesting specimen.
Back to the trip..
After Lake Naivasha we decided to spend a few days in Nairobi as we had heard about a good place called Jungle Junction. Most overlanders stop to rest and get repairs done there. This turned out to be a good and bad move. The place itself was great; JJ is on a plot no bigger than one acre, with about 8 groups camping and many more vehicles being kept here for later use
On arrival I checked the Cruiser in for a service and an once-over. While this was being done Petra and I headed for a shopping centre about 2 km away to stock up on some fruit and vegetables, and indulge in some retail therapy. It was great to be in a western style shop again, we went to watch Invictus the movie, which we really enjoyed and highly recommend and maybe the non-Saffas can learn a thing or two about rugby?? The Cruiser had a few issues to be dealt with, but mostly she had survived the harsh northern Kenyan roads well.
I have a confession to make; I definitely get the prize for being the most loskop on this tour. On the second day in Nairobi, I had my wallet stolen! Yes, that is an ipod, phone, and now a wallet gone on my watch…. YES, I’m currently cruising around Africa with no money, communication, or music, just like Stanley and Livingstone 150 years earlier. The wallet disappeared when Petra and I jumped into a matatu (Kenyan minibus taxi), and a large Kenyan man managed to wedge himself between us as we were getting on (this must be the technique), it was very cramped and the music was pumping! On getting off the taxi I realized my wallet had disappeared, pick pocketed!!
IMO Kenya has a lot better stuff to offer, besides very good shops Nairobi is not really worth a visit, and we set off for Malindi after only 2 days. The road east was slow going at first, and we only managed to make it to the Tsavo National Parks by sunset. We checked into the Voi Wildlife Lodge which was a bit pricey, but well worth the cash once we saw what it had to offer. The buffet dinner came as a welcome treat as it had been a long day. The highlight however was the fact that the lodge was built around a waterhole that was inside the park, the lodge was outside the park (A bit of info, non-Kenyan residents pay US$50 just to put a foot inside National Parks per day). We managed to get within meters of elephant and buffalo…….one of the elephant was only 1 day old, so quite a treat!!!! On our second night we checked into Lion Hill Lodge, which was about 2 km away. This one was half the price, it had better rooms, food and views, but no waterhole, this however didn’t worry us, as we were going to spend a day in the park anyway.
Petra was chuffed as we saw loads of hippos, and on our way out of the park, 2 lionesses walked right passed us and lay under some trees beside the road, which for me was a highlight!
The road from the park to Malindi was quite bad, and we had our first puncture on this trip. A stone went through the sidewall of the tyre, and that was the end of that tyre! It was a bit of effort to change it, but a local guy helped us, and before long we were on the road again. Some of you might know that I copped a bit of flak for going with the cheaper General Grabber AT2 tyres over the BFGoodrich AT tyres from David Wesson tyre supplier in Ceres. I’m not joking when I say that about 10 mins before this puncture happened I was dreaming about pulling up to his shop and showing him the tyres that went through Africa puncture free. I can't do that anymore, but I still think these tyres have served us well!!