samburu3.jpg Nanyuki 1994

From Kenya’s capital, Nairobi to the Samburu Game Lodge is about 150 miles as the crow flies. But, if you leave Nairobi in the middle of winter, and you’ll arrive at Samburu in midsummer. However, that’s not because the roads are so bad, or the little Nissan safari buses which most tour operators use being anything other than quick and efficient.

The reason for the seasonal shift is that on this journey crosses the Equator, at a place called Nanyuki, where the buses always stop. Ostensibly, it’s just to let passengers stretch their legs and attend to essential comforts, but, as often happens where tourists frequent, there’s quite a bazaar atmosphere, where ‘quality African craftwork’ (it says here) can be bought.

I’m attaching a photograph of Mrs. Travelrat … she prefers to be called Lorraine … at the sign which announces you are now crossing the Equator, and you may notice a container under it.

Usually, there’s someone there with that container, some water, a funnel and a few match-sticks. For a fee, he will demonstrate the phenomenon where, if you pour water into a funnel, or let it out of the bath, or something, it swirls out clockwise to the south of the Equator, and anti-clockwise to the north. But, nobody loves a smart-ass, so although my ‘day job’ at the time was in aviation, I resisted the temptation to lecture about Buys Ballot’s Law and the Coriolis Effect!

Neither did I spoil it by remarking that effect is negligible so close to the Equator … privately, I suspect that ‘spin’ is being put on it literally, as well as metaphorically!

But, let’s have a look at the slide show of some of the animals we came to see. That was the main purpose of our visit … and, to be brutally honest, I can’t see why anyone would visit Kenya for any other reason.

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 To see more pictures of African wildlife, go to


  1. Those pictures are awesome. How close to the animals were you? My son loved the zebras.

  2. Well, see the van in one of the pictures?

    That close! (We were in the other van … and our party wasn’t as noisy as those pictured) The hippo and the croc were shot (photograpically!!) at the Bamburi Nature Reserve … and all that was between us was a 2-foot wall, which they SAID was sufficient to keep us safe.

  3. nice!

  4. Hi

    Great article. I especially loved your photos. Although it’s been a while since you visited Kenya, the wildlife still remain a great attraction. Hope you come back some day and enjoy much more of Kenya.

  5. I loved Kenya’s wildlife, but what I liked best were the towns and the cities. Nairobi was pretty interesting, but I kind of fell in love with Lamu, a smallish city that seemed quite ‘untouristy’ and had some very nice historic sites!

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