Cradle of Hippopotakind

First post, World!! wow…No pressure.

I know our Facebook updates have been pretty cryptic, who puts camping and River Horses in one sentence and pink milk? That’s a thing? Judging from the title of this blog post, it has to do with hippos…or does it…O.k that was the last one, I promise 🙂

Picture this: Loud banter, the occasional bust of laughter, close friends, perfect weather, good music (Include Tiesto’s Red lights here) and a journey into the unknown. That just described the start of our camping weekend at Fisherman’s Camp in Naivasha. The 2 and a half hour trip from Nairobi was characterized by breathtaking views of the Great Rift Valley, winding highways and cascading valleys. It felt great to get away from the hustle and bustle of the City (Wow, that sounds like I work in Wall Street or something)

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We got to the camping site later on the evening, it got dark pretty fast. After we checked in, the Fisherman’s crew were kind enough to set up the tents that came with blankets for the night.

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At this point, it was already dark and all we could see were other groups, their bonfires and pitched tents. The lake was a dark mass, barely visible but I knew the place held a beautiful surprise come morning. One of the crew members informed us that hippos come out on land at night to graze and we should be on the look out for them. Lucky for us, we managed to spot two of these big boned beauties who just came out to say hi to their new neighbors.

Don’t say you weren’t warned

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I see you

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The staff members had advised us of a perfect place to capture the sunrise called Top Camp, only we had to wake up very early..5.50a.m kind of early.Done and done!

Upon opening the tent, we were met with the view of the expansive lake that stretched out for miles. The dark blue waters contrasted perfectly with the green grass and yellow acacias. Some way to wake up.

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We previously thought it was a 10-minute walk but 25 minutes into the involuntary hike, there was no sign of the camp, but boy, were the views breathtaking!!

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Jay got carried away with her camera and the sun began to rise. You know what that means, Chase. the. Sun.

You probably guessed it, we lost…badly…

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Finally made it to Top Camp, and it was worth it. Two donkeys were gracious enough to “hoot” for us on arrival

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Ran in to other campers here and yes he woke up like that. That view is to die for (o.k, that’s a bit dramatic, but still..)

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Going down the hill and admiring the scenery below got us philosophical about life and the need to take a breather, smell the roses (or donuts) and just live in the moment. You get to appreciate the little things, nature, sunrises and sunsets..I think that’s the fresh air talking

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Fisherman’s Camp

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Now this is a view to wake up to

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Live in the moment. One minute you could be this

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And the next..(lip syncing with your bestie- just in case you were trying to figure out what we were doing, you’re welcome)

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Meet Tom the Weaver

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Tom is one inspiring guy we met while at Fisherman’s Camp, where he owns a stall next to the office. He has been weaving for 32 years and is still very passionate about what he does. He started weaving under the mentorship of his good friend Ann, who was a constant visitor at Fisherman’s. She showed him the ropes as she was in the weaving business and finally when she retired, Tom went on his own.

What is interesting is that he managed to convince his wife to sell their only cow to buy the wood panels for the loom. His wife tried to talk him into going to his old driver job as she couldn’t understand how they would survive without any source of income but Tom was adamant as he believed in what he was destined to do-weave. He managed to raise Ksh.13,000 from the sale of the cow of which he spent Ksh. 11,000 to buy the wood panels he needed. He took a photo of the loom that was used in Ann’s company and managed to make a replica. He constructed the loom above, which he still uses after 32 years, with his own hands. Ann was gracious enough to support him as he set up shop.

Fast forward to 2015, Tom still makes amazing designs of woolen carpets, mats and coasters, all using natural materials such as 100% wool from different parts of Central Kenya and papyrus reed, which he gets from the lake.

When you visit Fisherman’s Camp, do say hi, he’s very friendly and kind.

So..About the Hippopotamus….

The earliest hippopotamus fossil is believed to be found 16 million years in Africa.We got this one too, Africa!

About the pink milk, according to National Geographic, Hippos are the only mammals that produce pink milk. Mind=Blown!

The two species of hippos, the common hippo (hippopotamus amphibious) is found in East Africa and the other, the rare pygmy hippopotamus is found in West Africa.

Hippos are considered the most aggressive species in the world as they have killed the most number of humans as compared to other animals. Looks like someone needs lessons on Anger Management.

And finally… (don’t judge, I’m being young, wild and free, ain’t that right Wiz Khalifa?)

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Till next time, Adios!

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Photography Credits: Ishi Gallery KE

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