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Kenya Day 8 (Part 1) – Nakuru to Masai Mara

Our tour guide arrives at 7:30am to take us from Nakuru to Masai Mara. It’s not long before we leave the hustle and bustle of Nakuru behind as we start the seven-hour drive.

Kenyan truck stop

Kenyan truck stop

We travel back to Navasha along the road we took into Nakuru on Saturday. I’m more alert this time so can appreciate the views over Lake Elementoria. But that doesn’t mean the 40km (25 miles) passed any more quickly. I just can’t believe how slow the highways are here in Kenya. The road surfaces are fantastic but the traffic moves at a crawl. I don’t know whether the battered old vehicles aren’t capable of travelling faster or whether drivers are too scared of the speed. Either way, the best approach is to accept this reality and settle in for the long haul.

Roadside town

Roadside town

 

Our drive takes us across the Great Rift Valley. Most of the farms grow flowers and small towns dot the highway. Most have brightly painted buildings that don’t always sell the wares that the exterior paint advertises. See, here in Kenya, corporations will paint people’s houses or businesses for free in return for advertising.

Masai herder

Masai herder

I know immediately once we enter Masai country. We’ve exited the Great Rift Valley and I see tall thin men herding cattle, goats and sheep along the roadside. At first, they are all wearing western clothes but carry distinctive long walking sticks, short herding sticks and big knives. But as we travel further into their lands more and more Masai wear traditional shawls over their shoulders. I can’t seem to work out how they keep them so clean, given that they work outdoors.

Tin hut

Tin hut

As we leave the highway behind, the towns are replaced with small villages and isolated huts. The huts made of tin look pretty hardcore.

Mud hut

Mud hut

But then I notice the mud huts along the roadside.

Masai village

Masai village

 And finally, as we travel even further from the highway, the isolated mud huts are replaced with Masai villages. These are characterised by the grass-roofed huts and fences made of tree branches. I didn’t want to take more obtrusive photos of the villages because the Masai (like most of us I suspect) don’t like people photographing their homes. But I figure this distant photo without any real distinguishing features can’t be too offensive.

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2 comments on “Kenya Day 8 (Part 1) – Nakuru to Masai Mara

  1. Andrew, I’ve really enjoyed reading all your posts on your African adventure. I had no idea that you devoted so much of your time raising money for poor Kenyan villages. I love how you and your Dad are visiting these villages to see how the money you’ve raised is helping the people in these slums.

    • Thank you for reading my stories 🙂
      Last year, my parents volunteered at the Nakuru Hope Project here in the town of Nakuru in Kenya. The project is run by an Australian woman who came here four years ago and promised to build a school and orphanage in the Kaptembwa slums. After the volunteered here, my parents promised to raise enough money to buy land for growing food for the school and orphanage. The did this simply by asking everyone they know for donations and they then matched those donations dollar-for-dollar. To help with their fundraising, I cycled 100km every day for 31 days from July 18-August 17 last year (see the Cycling for Hope link at the top of my blog). My total distance was 3,200km (2,000 miles). I raised $2,500, which my parents also matched. As a result, the Nakuru Hope Project were able to buy a plot of land big enough to grow food for the school and orphanage. After I did all that cycling (it was really tough because I still had to go to work during the day and university two nights a week), Dad invited me to come to Kenya with him to see the project. That’s how this trip came about and why I have spent so much time in the Kaptembwa slums instead of doing the tourist things. We’re even coming home one day early from the Masai Mara because Dad identified an opportunity for the Nakuru Hope Project if we have 5 days here this week instead of 4.

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