Let’s say I made a wrong turn because that’swhat I did. It reminded me of the movie Wrong Turn.
I was at the LakeNakuru National Park promoting domestic tourism. In Kenya, such excursions areleft to wazungus, who are seen as cash cows that have wandered from aforeign grazing land. There were not many of them this day, though.
Lake NakuruNational Park is created around Lake Nakuru, one of the Great Rift Valley sodalakes. It’s the home of millions of flamingos and over 450 species of otherbirds, as well asgiraffes, black and white rhinos, buffaloes, baboons and otherwild game. Documentaries say it’s a place to be.
When I was giventhe green light to drive through the gates, of course after thoroughsecurity check occasioned by the Al Shabaab threat in the country due to Kenyantroops’ fighting in Somalia, anticipation got the better of me. I couldn’t waitto see the famous home of flamingos – it was my first time.
As you enter thepark there’s a fork on the road that confuses first timers like me. I did notknow which way to go as the first thing that came to my mind was it was acircuit round the park. On Kenyan roads we keep left, so, I took a left turn.
Wooded and bushygrasslands greeted me with every corner I took; gazelles, zebras and buffaloes– lazily grazing in the afternoon sun – stared blankly at my saloon car as Idrove along, stopping occasionally to take pics. All along what I wanted to seewas the millions of flamingos that nest along the shores of Lake Nakuru.
I started regrettingthat I had wasted so much money to just drive around the lake. I desperatelywanted to take a photo by the lake with the flamingos in the background.
I gave up and decided to drive off the park, tomy partner’s dissatisfaction, who was enjoying every moment of it. So you canimagine I was glad to see, from a distance, the outline of what I’d beenlonging for – my foible is I give up easily.
I happily drove to the shore where there werelots of people – Americans with nasal voices, Europeans filming, a Chinesedoing some movie stuff Tai Chi while his friends goaded him and then us.
At last my day was made.
We played and took photos till when an orangishplate sinking down the western horizon told us it was time leave.
As we neared the entrance we came acrossspectacular picnic and camp sites. I vowed to go back some other time.
Baboon families on their evening walk playedidly on the road as though there was nothing going on – driving was somewherebetween crawling and parking.
As we left the park I knew that I would haveenjoyed more had I not taken a wrong turn from the start.