Friday, August 13, 2010

Out of Office...Into the Wild.

I have been working..let's just say, a lot. Luckily, I love my job but it most often captures the day and leaves the night for digital catch up, a nap and typically packing. Not your or my idea of an exciting narration of life in Africa. So the past few weekends I have abandoned the web for the wild. Here are a few escapades.

Riding to Egypt: 

Heading out of Uganda's capital city Kampala, the populated hills quickly become lush tea plantations, subsistence farms and then jungle. My coworker and I took this stunning drive to spend a day hiking and getting some peace in the lush Rain Forest Lodge. We watched monkeys searching for fruit in the tall trees and listen to birds competing for airwaves. 

The next morning, we traveled further East to Jinga. On the edge of town, the massive waters of Lake Victoria escape from the northern tip to start a 6,650 kilometer journey to the Mediterranean Sea. The incredible flow creates a series of class 5 to 6 rapids serving as hub for adventure junkies. They are among the top three ranked commercially rafted rapid in the worlds. Needless to say, breathtaking - both from the scenery and from being ejected from the boat on engulfed with monsoon of  thrashing water.  By far the best and most ridiculous ride in a large dingy. 

4 by 4 by 4 in Kenya:

Last weekends journey began in Nairobi. I rented a 4x4 and three of my friends from church and I headed out of the city to their parents and grandparents village located in the Great Rift Valley near Nakuru. After a three hour drive, we were welcomed into their grandmothers old, well occupied in home - by her, a number of animals and lots of guests. The farm was stunning. In their tribe (Kikuyo), sons inherit the fathers land, each building a home on it. For this reason, I was able to meet a large extended family, see their herd of goats, extensive garden, primitive kitchen, and get attacked by safari ants.

Then we traveled to their parents home, cooked dinner, shared stories and headed off to bed to get up at 5:30 AM in time to beat the rise of the animals and the sun in Nakuru National Park. This is where the 4x4 really came in handy. I took the wheel to practice staying left and also charging through ENORMOUS puddles to find the massive beasts. 

We saw a myriad of animals including water buffalo, giraffe, baboons, rhinos, hippos, hyenas, antelope, flamingos, monkeys and a million birds. Most memorably, we got chased and nearly attacked by a baboon... twice, nearly drove into a river, sat to observe young hyena cubs in their den, challenged a water buffalo with a Rav 4 and nearly got stuck at least a dozen times. This is my second safari and I must say, behind the wheel, is where the real adventure happens. ...just ask my passengers :)

Since then, I have been working mostly except randomly last weekend, I ended up at a  free jazz concert and unknowingly met a bunch of Kenyan celebs. Rappers are exactly what you think they are...except shorter :)

Now I am in South Africa but more to come on that later. Here are lots more picks.

Just in case you are curious, here are a few of the infamous Kenyan musicians.  Eric WainainaCollo, and Makemende, who was the first viral YouTube video star in Kenya. 

1 comment:

  1. Wow, what a bore. I mean really, Bridgette! ;) Looks like some fantastic adventures; loved the photos! Loving your blog and living vicariously as usual! :)