First few days with Africa-in-Focus

Posted: 06/08/2011 in Africa

Pre-departure meeting, yay time to meet my Africa-in-focus fellow travellers. I had been told it was a small group – hmm teeny tiny would have been the word I used. Aside from the guide/photographer, driver and cook, there are 3 of us! And I’m the only girl! Me on tour with 5 blokes for 4 weeks, hilarious. Actually I don’t mind either the small group size or the fact that it’s all guys (who would!). I’m a bit of a tom boy and I am happy in my own company so really it suits me just fine. So this morning myself, Chris from the Netherlands, Keith from the UK, ebron our cook, Will our driver and James the photographer set off in the big aqua truck bound for Lake Nakuru. I LOVE this truck, it’s huge with a big foot locker come foot rest in front of each seat. Being in the truck on the roads in Kenya is like using a giant muscle tone machine that vibrates your whole body. There are no potholes, the road is one massive pothole. We stop at the Rif valley lookout for some amazing views and being a tourist stop there are the sellers. Blanket miss? Umm, I’m in Africa, I’m wearing a t-shirt, why would I need a blanket (she says while writing with a sleeping bag over her legs because it’s cold and wet!!). Ok so it gets cold, luckily I came prepared.

It’s not far to camp, we’re staying on a local farm. So my first African animals are cows and horses! I have the photos to prove it. Devondale cows I call them, you know the square ones on the Devondale dairy products. Authentic African Devondale cows! First thing we do is set up our tents, my home for the next 55 days. We get one lesson and luckily they are a lot easier than any tent ikea might make! The tents are named so we use the same one each time. I end up with baboon,why?! I don’t like baboons and I don’t like being identified with an animal that has a weird bum! Unfortunately it was wet so I got onyx instead. It seems I’ve gone from being a weird bummed animal to something that sounds somewhat pig like until realise it’s actually oryx not onyx and is a type of beautiful deer. Hurrah I’m a beautiful deer not a weird bummed pig, that’s more like it, but anyway, it is just a tent!

Our afternoon is spent wandering the massive farm and having our first photography lesson. It’s a stormy evening and we shoot black skies over bright green fields of wheat, just stunning! Mum you’d be so jealous. Every now and again a local walks past wearing some rainbow coloured clothing to add to the vibrancy of the shot. By the time we get back to camp it’s dark. Unfortunately I can’t find either of my 2 torches which I had thought I put in the tent for easy access. And what was a hot day has suddenly become cold and so I had to now find my thermal PJs amongst the mess that is my truck locker. How, why, i have owned my lockers for all of 10 hours! Hmmm I need some kind of camping strategy here! And I need a cupboard, sink, clothes hangers, electricity, flushable toilet and warm shower! Oh how hilariously disillusioned I am. I sleep lousy on the first night, my back keeps getting cold, there are people walking through our camp and the bar music is loud! No matter I’m off on my first game drive today!


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