Nairobi to Addis Ababa (6) Nakuru and Lake Baringo

After returning to Nairobi we headed swiftly onwards, north-west to Nakuru. We couldn’t afford the entrance fees for the (apparently) wonderful national park just outside the town (despite trying to claim East African Resident discounts with our Somaliland residence permits in our passports) so we pushed further north to Lake Baringo. The lake was beautiful and we camped there, making use of the facilities (if not the rooms) of a tourist lodge on its shores. We’d bought a mosquito net and tarpaulin before leaving Hargeisa and were eager to make use of them. We’d refrained from purchasing a logo-ed UNHCR tarp from the Suuq – looking like you’ve just been on the rob in a refugee camp is rarely a good image to project – so we were pretty in very bright orange and blended in seamlessly with the lakeside foliage. Perhaps not, but that wasn’t necessarily a bad thing as we found out later in the middle of the night when the hippos started stomping past, barely a couple of feet away from our heads. I’d have slept through it but Monsieur Shan Boqol decided to wake me up just so he wouldn’t be the only one with the crap scared out of him.

The next morning we went boating on the lake, spotting crocodiles, more hippos and some stunningly varied bird life. We used the lakeside lodge as a pit-stop for a day or so: I was trying to keep off my foot which I’d cut on coral snorkelling in Lamu. Despite very liberal applications of surgical spirit it had gone and got nicely infected and was ballooning to something approximating the size and shape of the hippo feet that were coming rather close to squishing us during our sleep.

We should have probably rested up a bit longer but time was against us and the Ethiopian border still seemed very far away. We’d come a bit off the beaten track to get to Baringo so to hop east to the main Isiolo-Marsabit road going north required some thinking. In the end we were able to negotiate a couple of motorbikes and drivers to take us over the hills and on to the town of Maralal.

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