AfricaKenyaNarok

Into the Wilds of Africa

Narok Travel Blog

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Beehive huts

Bearing heavy backpacks, Scott and I bid Stoley adios and hiked to the Youth Hostel. Ed was going over some of the final details with our fellow adventurers: Richard, an automotive design engineer who had traveled through India and the Middle East; Dave, another experienced and well-disciplined low-budget traveler, carpenter by trade; and Virginia, a vibrant twenty-year-old nurse making her first trip away from home. All three were from Adelaide, South Australia, and we knew immediately that we would get along well.

 

Our packs were heaved on top of the Landrover, covered with a sheet of plastic, and lashed down with straps and ropes. The roof also secured two five-gallon jugs of water, four of diesel, and a clutter of firewood. The land quickly took on a rural appearance as we headed southwest out of Nairobi.

Alert giraffes
Green rolling hills were scattered with maize fields and freckled with primitive bee-hive huts of red clay and straw. We stopped about twenty miles outside of the city at a roadside kiosk to buy green pears and peaches which were crispy and dry. We munched the tasty fruit while surveying the Great Rift Valley from its eastern escarpment. That deep trench was about thirty miles wide through Kenya and ran 3,750 miles in length from Turkey to Mozambique. The Rift provided the corridor for the largest wildlife migration on earth.

 

After zigzagging to the valley floor we immediately encountered wildlife - still more than a  hundred miles from the nearest game reserve. Wildebeest, zebra, and gazelles wandered dry savannah which was dotted with umbrella- shaped acacia trees. A pair of giraffes stood tall - not far off the road - prepared to defend their nearby young.

Masai herders and warriors
Ed maintained a respectful 40-45 mile per hour pace to sustain the vehicle that brought him overland from Great Britain just months earlier. This was his second safari.

 

The tarmac ended at the town of Narok, the last hint of civilization between Nairobi and the Masai Mara Game Reserve. We stopped at a small shop there to buy supplies. While their cattle lapped from the muddy river, Masai herders and escorting warriors drank White Cap beers. Their bristly hair was dyed red. Their earlobes were grossly stretched - some colorfully decorated with beads; others, dangling and flopping barbarically as they drank or spoke. They wore poncho-like red-dyed cotton cloths which comprised an opening for their head and was held in place by a cloth belt or rope tied around the waist, sides open. Warriors  carried bow and arrows, spears, and unique wooden sticks with a ball carved on one end, knob-kerries. After buying bread and groceries we continued deeper into the bush.

 

 

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Beehive huts
Beehive huts
Alert giraffes
Alert giraffes
Masai herders and warriors
Masai herders and warriors
Narok
photo by: wipr