East Africa 2012

7½ months - with Melanie - Toyota Hiace 4x4 van

On the road #1

November 20, 2012  —  Kenya

Lake Victoria

Lake Victoria - Kenya
Water Hyacinths.

Unbelievable but true! Normally, one should be seeing water everywhere there are water hyacinths (floating plants). Unfortunately, this introduced plant doesn't have any enemy and proliferate at a crazy speed. In some areas, like here, the water is completely covered with these plants.

The tragedy for fishermen is the fact that they can't go out on the water using a boat. To clear a path through the plants can take hours since most of them don't have any motors. A fisherman that we met was asking me if I had an idea to make those plants disappear (local people often believe that white people have a solution for everything...).

For now, the only solution for them is to wait for the winds to change direction. Indeed, if the wind turns, all the plants may disappear in only one night. Of course, the problem is only moving from a bay to the next one.

Lake Victoria - Kenya
There are plants as far as the eyes can see.
Lake Victoria - Kenya
Another bay partially infested.
Lake Victoria - Kenya

I often talked about children who are coming to us asking for pens, money or candies. In Kenya, it is quite frequent in the west of the country. Now that we are on the coast, it occurs much less often.

Lake Victoria - Kenya
Lake Victoria - Kenya
Landscapes around Lake Victoria.
Lake Victoria - Kenya
Two fishermen on the lake.
Lake Victoria - Kenya
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Kericho

Kericho Region - Kenya
Tea plantation.

The Kericho region is covered by vast tea plantations. On this picture, one can see the houses of workers surrounded by plantations. Like in many of the less-developed countries, tea is mostly exported to Europe or North America and is hard to find in the producing country.

Kericho Region - Kenya
Tea plantation.
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Kerio Valley

Kerio Valley - Kenya
Pool table.

The valley is very nice and is worth a small detour for the scenery and a few surprises.

This pool table near a tiny village is well protected so that cows can't get on the site.

Kerio Valley - Kenya
One always has to be alert on African roads.
Kerio Valley - Kenya
Kerio Valley - Kenya
Kerio Valley - Kenya
On the road, we stumbled upon this magnificent gorge.
Kerio Valley - Kenya
Erosion due to the rain.
Kerio Valley - Kenya
Rabbit caught by these kids' dog.
Miscellaneous - Kenya
Road towards the valley.
Road from Kabarnet to Marigat - Kenya
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Camping at Lake Baringo

Lake Baringo - Kenya

When we arrived at this campsite, we knew there could be some hippopotamuses or crocodiles in the lake and consequently near the camping ground. At the site, there are signs warning the people that these animals can be dangerous and that we need to be cautious.

About 30 minutes after we have arrived, we saw three hippopotamus come out of the lake and to our campsite less than 2 metres away from the van. These critters are huge and dangerous. They are responsible for the largest number of deaths in Africa... way before lions and other carnivores.

On my side, I was taking pictures 'hidden' behind a tree while Melanie retreated inside the vehicle. The hippopotamuses have calmly passed by while grazing on grass on the camping ground, before continuing walking down towards the lake. The site extends like a mini peninsula in the lake...

Lake Baringo - Kenya
2-3 metres away from the van.
Lake Baringo - Kenya
There were 2 adults and one juvenile.
Lake Baringo - Kenya
A visitor for breakfast, the next morning.
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Around Lake Baringo

Lake Baringo - Kenya
Tires recycled in sandals.

We visited this village near the lake. It is very typical of African villages.

This store used old tires to make sandals out of them. A lot of people in Africa don't have enough money for buying shoes or sandals like we have at home. Thus, to protect themselves from thorns and brambles frequently found in savannah, they buy these cheap sandals. They are not very comfortable, but they seem to be very strong.

Lake Baringo - Kenya
Imagine the milk's quality for this baby goat.
Lake Baringo - Kenya
A small convenience store.
Lake Baringo - Kenya

Lake Baringo, like many in Kenya, is flooded due to the abnormally heavy rains this year.

This sign shows the direction for the youth centre's's reception that offers, among other things, campsites... The arrow is pointing towards the lake... with even more water...

Lake Baringo - Kenya
Would you go to this hotel? A butcher's shop and a hotel at the same address!
Lake Baringo - Kenya
Melanie is crazy about rock climbing. It is the kind of photos she takes... rock walls.
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Menengai crater

Menengai Crater - Kenya
Steam jet.

Sometimes, some 'tourist' sites are disappointing. In this case, we went to the crater hoping to see nice scenery. That was not the case. However, we learned that like in many other places (see Hell's Gate), Kenya has a lot of thermal springs. The country has started to 'destroy' landscapes to exploit these resources. In this picture, they are only in the test phase. Later on, it will be the power plant and the roads...

Menengai Crater - Kenya

We are probably more than 13 000 km away from Quebec City (see the distance for New York).

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Lake Elmenteita

Lake Elmenteita - Kenya

The lake early in the morning.

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Camping at lake Navaisha

Lake Navaisha - Kenya
Lake Navaisha - Kenya
Some visitors at the campsite.
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Mount Kenya

Mount Kenya - Kenya

No, we didn't climb it. The only view we got of it.

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Archer's Post Village

Archer's Post - Kenya
Samburu village.

We are in the centre of Kenya, at the beginning of an arid region, inhabited by people living in a traditional way, but also in very rudimentary dwellings (they are very poor).

Here, near the Samburu reserve, we stopped for camping at the place of a Samburu entrepreneur. He built a small house to rent to tourists going through the area.

Archer's Post - Kenya
Ewaso Ng'iro River.
Archer's Post - Kenya
House at the campsite.
Archer's Post - Kenya
Ewaso Ng'iro River.
Archer's Post - Kenya
Archer's Post - Kenya
View from the campsite.
Archer's Post - Kenya
View from the campsite.
Archer's Post - Kenya
View from the campsite.
Archer's Post - Kenya
Ewaso Ng'iro River.
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North of Archer's Post

North of Archer's Post - Kenya
Typical village.

We didn't go very far in the north of Kenya. Not enough time, not willing to, risky... and for many other reasons...

North of Archer's Post - Kenya
North of Archer's Post - Kenya
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Town of Meru

Meru - Kenya
View of the market.