Today we have been to Crescent Island. Anyone you talk to wants to tell you that the movie “Out of Africa” was filmed here. I have not seen the film myself so I do not know what that means, but it was awesome to get to see the animals so close.
When they were shooting the film, there were no animals at all on the island, so the camera team brought some antilopes, wildebeest, a water buffalo and giraffes. For obvious reasons they didn’t bring any lions, and now they have a whole island where there are only prey and not a single predator. A bit like serving up a Christmas dinner and then failing to invite the guests.
We started the tour with a one hour drive to Great Rift Valley, a ravine that apparently runs through the whole of Africa, from the Red sea in the north to Mozambique in the south. As I stood there photographing the ravine a gentleman walked over to me and introduced himself as Francis and started to talk about Zlatan Ibrahimovic and before I knew it, I was standing in a shop bargaining on some keyrings for the kids that I did not want. I’m telling you, that was a good salesman. I got the price down from the 600 SEK that he first wanted to around a hundred, but then the kids got one additional bracelet each and the whole family got to use the toilets. I just hope my 100 bucks will come to the benefit of a poor family somewhere down the road.
After another hour’s ride, we arrived at the resort at Lake Naivasha where then the banana-shaped Crescent Island is located. Our group of 12 people was divided into two narrow boats and we cast off in a marshy environment where large dead mangrove-like trees were sticking up out of the lake. After around five minutes our boat was stopped by our driver for a while.
– Look, Hippo.
And indeed, 20 meters further away in the water a small hippo nose was sticking up out of the water.
There were spectacular views of a landscape that was very different from what I am accustomed to in Sweden. All the time you had to keep an eye on the ground as not to accidentally step on animal droppings or bones from eaten animals (there were apparently hyenas on the island, chewing on the dead animals bones). In addition, you had to lift your feet to not trample into the deep caverns that appeared when anteaters were looking for termites in the sandy ground.
Further down around the lake, animals were grazing in flocks. Zebras were looking suspiciously at us as we approached, but when they backed away, it was not in a panic but in a quiet walk past our cameras to be photographed.
All the time a warm breeze was blowing from the lake and I just walked around breathing deeply with a surreal feeling that this was happening to someone else. After an hour I was a bit overwhelmed by all the amazing things and I think I walked past many beautiful things without even seeing it at the end. There was simply too much to take in.
After a short boat ride back we went back to the hotel. We savored a nice buffet at the Sopa Resort and then went home via a store where we bought some gin and tonic. A worthy end to a good day.