Sunday, October 27, 2013

The Birds of Naivasha

Today we went to the Rift Valley again.  Peter was with me this time, and he got to see the spectacular views too.  There are many lakes of all kinds in the Rift Valley which extends from Malawi in the south all the way to the Jordan Valley and the Dead Sea in the north.  
Lake Naivasha is surely one of the most beautiful of all these lakes.  It is a fresh water lake fed from underground springs.  And it is home to more species of birds than I have ever seen in one place.  

The waters and trees are full of several species of cormorant, heron, pelican, duck,ibis, gull, stork, goose, flamingo, in addition to kingfishers, eagles and many others.  We donned life jackets and climbed into one of the long narrow motor boats with John, our knowledgable and experienced pilot .  

In addition to birds the lake is full of hippos.  During the day these huge animals lounge in the water in family groups.  When dusk falls they climb onto land where they graze in the short grass.  This is when they are most dangerous because they panic when someone comes between them and the water. 

We were able to walk on this island because the hippos were in the water.  Other herbivores such as impala, wildebeest,  water buck and zebra roam freely and safely because predators can't reach them. The giraffes were out of sight because the wind was blowing the other way.  Giraffes determine wind diection with their horns and prefer to graze with the wind behind them.

We said goodbye to our fantastic driver/guide, Kariuki.  
Tonight we pack and ready ourselves for Uganda.

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