One of the world’s greatest bird spectacles, ‘stroopwafels’ – one of the world’s greatest waffles
‘Andy you have to try stroopwafels (syrup waffle in Dutch), there is nothing quite like them, once you start you are addicted, they are heel lekker!’ Rene and Lidy said. So on the way to Lake Nakuru I got my first taste of one and let me tell you what, 2 thin slices of waffle with home made caramel, they were not wrong. The stroopwafel is truly a culinary delight. But were the Dutch ready for Lake Nakuru and the wildlife equivalent of a stroopwafel?! Having finally got through the Park gate and the mind blowing bureaucracy of Africa behind us we were into the animals immediately. We had to hang back a little and take our time, as the mobile camp was moving with us from Solio in one day, but that was not difficult as we drove along the flamingo lined shores of the Lake. Plenty of buffalo, impala, waterbuck, giraffe, zebra, baboons and a lioness up a tree just around the corner from our beautiful forest lined campsite.
The next morning we were up early. Nakuru can be quite cold, well for Kenyans anyway, and as we drove out of camp the mist was rising off the ground as the suns rays hit the dew left on the grass overnight. We could actually see our breath, again this might sound normal to most but we are on the equator here, as well as the breath of several buffalo struggling to get up after a nervous night’s broken sleep by lions roaring. However, one was acting very strangely. Incredibly on closer inspection through binoculars (the right way around this time for Simone!), there were 2 buffalo with their horns locked together, assumingly caused during fighting. Now I have seen this with kudu but never with buffalo. Certainly bizarre but the worst thing about it all was that one was dead already, quarter eaten by lion or hyena and the other one was still alive, struggling to break free. Imagine the night it had experienced! It was heart wrenching to watch but you have to let nature take its toll. We returned later to find a lion feeding, thankfully the alive buffalo had been put out of its misery.
One of the biggest attractions of Nakuru is the birdlife. Hundreds of species flock to the edge of the Lake including, at any one time, 2 million lesser flamingos. We were not disappointed as we sat on the lush grass and watched and listened as thousands and thousands of iridescent pink birds squabbled between themselves for moving space. The noise and the colours were out of this world! Then there were the pelicans, the stints, the plovers, the fish eagles, the kingfishers, I could go on all day. We didn’t find a leopard but we did see more lion, rhino and a big herd of the critically endangered Rothschild’s giraffe. We even had our own ‘Amsterdam red light district’ event when a baboon played out what can only be described as exceptionally unusual behaviour right on my front tyre. I couldn’t speak or drive for laughter for the next 5 minutes!
It’s a sad farewell to our private camp tomorrow as we head for the Maasai Mara.