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Kenya, On the road 0

Rhino-charge, icy waterfalls and tree top walks in Ngare Ndare forest

You now know well that I am working with the Fountain Youth Initative team Monday to Friday in Githurai, but I do my best to get out and explore this beautiful country over my few weekends. Last weekend, we had a blast in Ngare Ndare forest and Lewa conservancy trekking, canopy walking, rhino charging and dipping in ice cold waterfall pools.

Let me tell you, my weekends in Nairobi and tripping around are so much different from the work focused simple weekday life. I love them equally and they both make this whole Kenya experience so unique. It would however not be the same without Marie, my weekend partner in crime, who is introducing me to the expat life in Nairobi, showing me the beauty of Kenyan nature, and allowing for the so much needed weekly de-dusting in her western style hot water bathtub. Thanks a million, Marie!

 After Friday’s night fever and modest 2 hour sleep, we boarded at 6 am on a bus to Ngare Ndare forest at Lewa conservancy near Mt. Kenya. Bumpy 6 hours ride went by swiftly as we were obviously sound asleep despite the driver enforcing the top 100 local hits really loud (I mean REALLY LOUD) and driving Fast and Furious style.

 I knew the ride was worth it when I opened my eyes at the edge of endless plains of Lewa conservancy, red dust road ahead and a few antilopes and giraffes walking among thorny dry acacia trees. The landscape was so different from what I’ve seen so far on my travels on other continents.

 Following our armed guides we sunk in the depth of the Ngare Ndare forest, so lush green compared to the Lewa conservancy. The hike was short but made for a sweet stretch thanks to a few uphills and steep drops. After a good hour walking we arrived to the highlight of the trip – lovely waterfalls with water so cold it makes one’s heart stop beating. A few bravehearts gave it a try and jumped from the cliff to the natural pool. I decided they deserve good photos and sacrificed myself for that purpose instead ;).

Blue waterfall

 After a good chill around the river, we headed back for what turned out to be an amazing 500 m canopy walk. With the sun slowly setting down and the view from treetops over Ngare Ndare and Lewa’s changing landscape, Mt. Kenya at the background, this was so far my favourite moment of the trip.

 Just because I didn’t know what was coming.

 We had a little issue with our trip organizer, which Marie calmly but persistently argued about. Due to late arrival we supposedly had no time to see the most beautiful ‘blue’ waterfall. Organizers worried about not getting paid for the trip arranged a last minute 4WD ride back to the heart of Ngare Ndare forest to satisfy the four most annoying participants, myself among them.

We hopped on the back of a massive truck to realize just a second later that this would be the craziest ride ever, when Francis the driver sent us a devilish look asking: ‘Do you ladies know rhino charge?’ I didn’t and Marie only managed to screamed  ‘Hold on to something really tight!’ It took twenty minutes of flying all over the back of the truck, laughing crazily as the engine cried and the car rolled over rocks and debris of the same path we peacefully walked just an hour ago. I couldn’t care less about waterfalls blue or pink, this was it. I had an adrenalin rush and my personal highlight of the trip.

Rhino charge

When we parked the beast and went down to the river via a steep little slippery path, the view that opened to us at the bottom was worth a million. Cascades, waterfalls and blue pools. I didn’t mind the chilly temperature of the crystal clear water, took of my dusty t-shirt and dived in. Yes, my heart stopped for a moment and it was so worth it.

Swimming

We enjoyed another pumped rhino charge ride back to the main camp watching the beautiful coloures of wilderness with sun just above the horizon, caught the rest of the group somewhere on the way to Nanyuki town and fell asleep the moment we boarded our loud disco-bus heading towards Nairobi.

Simply a good day.

Thanks for reading. 🙂

Yours,

Petra

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