Memory Lane….a.k.a. Another Weekend in Naivasha

This weekend Tom and I decided to head back to Fisherman’s Camp and Lake Naivasha – the place where we first met. (Cute, I know).Having been at Michael’s birthday party the night before, our intended early morning start worked out not so early.  We made it to the matatu stage at River Road by 11.  Getting on the matatu, we were already impatient to get going.  As if to answer our thoughts – the drivers had some issue with a passenger, and so a whole matatu load of passengers (including us, of course) sat crammed into the vehicle for an hour before the driver decided to get in and move.  So finally, at a time already gone midday, we managed to get on the way to our lovely weekend away.

After about half an hour, we were on the Great Rift Valley Rd, just passing the look-out points.  The van slowed, and we realised we were in a mammoth traffic jam.  Everyone piled out of the boiling matatu, and set off to investigate.  Further down the road, a rescue lorry was parked across the whole width of the road, blocking all passage.  As it turned out, a drunken driver had managed to drive his car straight off the cliff…. and got stuck in a tree.  And survived.  Leaving the Kenyan police/rescue services with the task of somehow getting him and his car back up the cliff onto the road.

It was with some scepticism as we watched the rescue attempt, as the rescue lorry itself was secured by little rocks lodged before its wheels.  Fool-proof.  Eventually the wrecked car was pulled up the cliff, and as it dangled just on the edge of the cliff, suspended to the rescue lorry – it became clear that the lorry was positioned wrongly – there was no space left to put the dangling car down.  Good job there was a big jam- bystanders were recruited to heave the dangling car round the back of the rescue lorry, until it could be safely put down onto the road.

Rescue over, everyone hopped back into their vehicles, the rescue lorry sped off (leaving the car wreck behind), and everyone was happily on their way.  A short while later, on the outskirts of Naivasha town, the heavens opened, and we got our first bout of torrential rain.  Great day to go camping.

In Naivasha we now routinely hopped into the second matatu.  Note to Naivashan matatu drivers: why do all of your vans STINK of petrol? Not a great way to gain trust…  Anyway, with the rain pounding down, we waited for the mat to fill yet again, and headed off to Fisherman’s Camp.

On our arrival, the amused receptionist told us we’d have to wait for the rain to stop before our tent could be pitched.  So, bedraggled, we headed to the bar/restaurant, to be welcomed by Sammy, the waiter we befriended on our first visit back in October.  A couple of Tuskers and yummy omlettes later, the rain had stopped, our tent was being erected, and we had run into Nairobi acquaintances – who let us join them on their boat trip of Naivasha Lake.  So, we took our next trip down memory lane – motor boating between the hippos.

Returning to camp, with the light slowly but surely dwindling, we headed back to the bar – Tusker o’clock.  Less of the drunk antics this time (no tree climbing, no trying to test an electric fence, and no trying to take a policeman’s gun). More relaxing, chatting, a lovely dinner, and plenty of Tusker.  Did I mention the Tusker, by the way?  We retreated to our tent as a group of University of Nottingham goofs made morons of themselves dancing around the middle of the restaurant.  Pffff, drunk people, can’t stand them 🙂

Morning came, the sun was out, we got up late, and headed for breakfast.  Following which we headed out to Crater Lake – a private game park, including a (surprise) lake in a crater; with a stop off for flamingo viewing en route.  We hiked around the Crater Lake park for a while, wandering between the zebras and (2) giraffes.  Then we were taken up to the lake, where we enjoyed a spot of lunch, and tried to photograph the band of colobus monkeys playing in the trees.

Mid-afternoon it was time to leave, so we hopped back on our matatu.  We got off at Naivasha Country Club, where Tom was taking me for a drink and a stroll in the grounds.  So of course, as we stepped out of the mat, the heavens opened, and once again, we braved the elements to get to the bar.   We enjoyed a couple of grossly overpriced drinks overlooking the lawns, and as the rain stopped made a break for the matatu stop.

After some waiting, some confusion, and a bumpy ride home, we made it back to Nairobi in time for dinner.

Yet another great weekend in Naivasha, with my amazing boyfriend – who never gets enough credit for how lovely he is (until now).


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