The Big Trip: towards Kilimanjaro

The Big Trip: towards Kilimanjaro

We’re back from an international trip. We drove from Uganda through Kenya to Tanzania.

The Big Trip: Uganda, Kenya and Tanzania

The Big Trip: Uganda, Kenya and Tanzania

That meant:

2 x new front springs

1 x front shock absorber mountings

5 x rear shock absorbers (2 Japanese replacements fitted in Gulu some months ago/ 1 x hybrid bodged up by the mechanic to a medical advisory NGO in the centre of the Serengeti (some frightening welding action).

The Big Trip: Welding Action in the Serenegeti

The Big Trip: Welding Action in the Serengeti

He joined our own shock absorber onto one he happened to have lying around somewhere, sadly neither worked and led to an alarming 130 kilometre crawl across the Serengeti plain/ 2 x Chinese shock absorbers fitted in a camp just outside the Serengeti.

The Big Trip: Replacing the Replacement outside the Serengeti

The Big Trip: Replacing the Replacement outside the Serengeti

Plus the 2 new Japanese ones and two new front wheel bearings and various new oil seals fitted on our return to Kampala.

Plus sundry other visits to roadside mechanics to stop the vehicle misfiring/ leaking/ dying.

The Big Trip: oil seals in Kericho

The Big Trip: oil seals in Kericho

Really, the Cherangani Hills (North Western Kenya), The Ngorongoro Crater and Serengeti (Tanzania) are not suitable for little cars. You need the Landcruisers and Safari vehicles we saw everywhere once past Arusha. A big tourist industry, so unlike the smaller, quieter Uganda that we are used to. Uganda is small, on this trip we just began to get a glimpse of the size of this continent.

The Big Trip: the Ngorongoro Crater

The Big Trip: the Ngorongoro Crater

Plus the opportunity to meet many, many policemen:

“Good morning Madame, you have committed an offence. You are overloaded”

Pause for laughter as we all watched a matatu stagger past weighed down by a three piece suite, bags of maize, goats etc.

“But Madame, it is because we love you that we do not want you to become injured. You have committed an offence and you must pay me”

Plus many opportunities whilst camping to include the mandatory photographs of cooking tomato sauce in front of extraordinary views.

The Big Trip: tomato sauce at Lake Naivasha

The Big Trip: tomato sauce at Lake Naivasha

Elephants in camp,

The Big Trip: Elephant in the camp above Ngorongoro Crater

The Big Trip: Elephant in the camp above Ngorongoro Crater

Hornbills attacking their reflections in the car mirrors at Lake Baringo etc.

The Big Trip: Hornbills at Lake Boringo

The Big Trip: Hornbills at Lake Baringo

Plus game drives of course. Flamingos and hot springs at Lake Bogoria,

The Big Trip: Flamingos at Lake Bogoria

The Big Trip: Flamingos at Lake Bogoria

one of many lakes that has risen noticeably in the last couple of years

The Big Trip: Flamingos at Lake Bogoria 2

The Big Trip: Flamingos at Lake Bogoria 2

dead trees in the water became familiar.

The Big Trip: drowned shore at Lake Boringo

The Big Trip: drowned shore at Lake Baringo

The most spectacular game setting was the Ngorongoro Crater,

The Big Trip: above the Ngorongoro Crater

The Big Trip: above the Ngorongoro Crater

ostriches for the first time, a pride of lions resting – do they do anything else?

The Big Trip: a pride at Ngorongoro Crater

The Big Trip: a pride at Ngorongoro Crater

Wildebeest being menaced by Hyenas.

The Big Trip: Wildebeest, Hyena and Ostrich in the Ngorongoro Crater

The Big Trip: Wildebeest, Hyena and Ostrich in the Ngorongoro Crater

In the Serengeti the Wildebeest were massing for the Great Migration, huge herds hanging around, tapping their hooves, wanting to know how much longer they had to wait “But I want to go now”.

The Big Trip: Wildebeest

The Big Trip: Wildebeest

Plus, as we travelled up the Great Rift Valley, a chance to visit Oldupai, where mankind began.

The Big Trip: Oldupai Gorge 1

The Big Trip: Oldupai Gorge 1

The Gorge where Mary Leakey found the first evidence of early hominids.

The Big Trip: Oldupai Gorge 2 Archaeologists at work

The Big Trip: Oldupai Gorge 2 Archaeologists at work

Plus a chance to see some genuine approaches to climate change in Kenya, from an innovative use of plastic bottles as fencing,

The Big Trip: bottle fence in Kenya

The Big Trip: bottle fence in Kenya

through to a Bio Mass power station that is using invasive foreign trees (Prosopsis), or the by products of the huge polytunnels that you’re your cut flowers, through to Geo Thermal power stations in Hells Gate National Park that use hot springs and natural pressure.

The Big Trip: Geo Thermal plant in Hells Gate National Park

The Big Trip: Geo Thermal plant in Hells Gate National Park

Not surprisingly, partly because of terrorism threats (the Al Shabab effect has decimated the Kenyan tourist industry) you cannot photograph these innovative means to generate power.

The Big Trip: a Pair of Kori Bustards in the Ngorongoro Crater

The Big Trip: a Pair of Kori Bustards in the Ngorongoro Crater

Plus a chance to do some walking ourselves, in the Cherangani Hills,

The Big Trip: Walking in the Cherangani Hills

The Big Trip: Walking in the Cherangani Hills

across the hot and flat plain at Lake Baringo with a real bird twitcher who summoned birds through an app on his phone.

The Big Trip: summoning the birds at Lake Boringo

The Big Trip: summoning the birds at Lake Baringo

Then down the Gorge in Hells Gate National Park (the scene apparently of films like ‘Tomb Raider’.

The Big Trip: the Gorge at Hells Gate National Park

The Big Trip: the Gorge at Hells Gate National Park

We all nodded knowledgeably, but were none the wiser.) And to discover how unfit we have become, Gulu is very flat with few opportunities for walking much, Kenya is mountainous,

The Big Trip: walking in the Cherangani Hills

The Big Trip: walking in the Cherangani Hills

fantastic walking country for the properly fit; maybe another time.

The Big Trip: new springs in Nakuru

The Big Trip: new springs in Nakuru

 

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