Obsessed by a fairy tale, we spend our lives searching for a magic door and a lost kingdom of peace. ~Eugene O’Neill
Yes, you heard right. There is an island in Kenya: Crescent Island. Okay, it’s not “technically” an island. It’s actually a crescent-shaped piece of land that juts out on the very large, freshwater lake in Kenya—Lake Naivasha— where herds of animals run happily.
Arriving in Kenya, we really didn’t know what to expect. We had driven half way across the country through the amazing Rift Valley with a guide who promised to show us where the best wildlife is. And Lake Naivasha was no exception.
It was pouring rain at the time we were to board a rickety boat to go across the lake, where we had heard that hippos swam around in abundance. So I was a little nervous, but excited!
Our boat driver said, “Nothing is guaranteed. Sometimes the animals will hide when it’s raining.”
The boat engine rattled on anyway, and we remained hopeful in our rain coats while holding up an old umbrella with holes. I don’t mind getting wet, but I’ve got to keep my camera equipment dry!
We drove on for about an hour along the coast of the lake shore not seeing much except these amazing trees jutting out of the water that looked like rugged branches piercing the sky. Then we headed towards the island.
All of a sudden, the rain stopped and the island came into view.
We could see zebras and wildebeest running in herds around the island as if playing tag. We could see majestic water buck up to their necks in the water, enjoying the abundance of water plants. An amazing array of birds of all shapes, sizes and colors flocked around the island.
My heart stopped for a second.
These are the best feelings in life, being surrounded by untouched nature in the middle of nowhere, witnessing such magic.
In dry season, they dock the boat and you can walk among the animals! But we were in wet season and the shore was washed out and inaccessible. We felt like we were disturbing them less by just floating by in a boat, so we were okay with that. Also, the animals walk right up to the balconies at the lodge we stayed at— the amazing Sopa Lodge! (more about that at the end!)
I fell in love with water bucks. Who can resist a heart-shaped nose?
Bird lovers paradise!
On the way back, we DID see the hippos, but they were taking a nap.
Back on land, it is a paradise where humans and animals roam free in harmony, like the garden of Eve.
The Sopa Lodge is right near the lake, where all the animals graze on the grass day and night. During the day, herds of waterbuck, zebras and giraffes walked right by us. At night, we had to be more careful, as the hippos came out of the water and were eating grass right below our balcony. Magic, magic, magic!
To be continued with our adventures in the Maasai Mara in Kenya!
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Peace, Love, Travel!
Though we travel the world over to find the beautiful, we must carry it with us or we find it not. ~Ralph Waldo Emerson
As we are all aware, flying on a plane isn’t the most eco-friendly activity. Neither is driving a car, which is hard to avoid unless you live in a city and ride a bicycle everywhere. I truly love you, bicycle riders. I miss being close enough to work to bike it!
I’m hoping someday we can fly all flights on alternative fuel. There are several airlines offering biofuel already, and it’s been increasing in the past few years, reducing the carbon footprint. Biofuel is actually trash that is converted into fuel. I’m excited for a future where we don’t use fossil fuels for transportation.
You can reduce your carbon footprint in several ways right now and still see the world!
Thanks for checking out my latest post! If you have any more ideas to travel compassionately, please comment below.
Peace. Love. Travel.
Ohhhh, The Places You’ll Go! ~ Dr. Seuss
I was born in a small town in Northern Minnesota in an area called “The Iron Range”, heavy on mining and bars and not a whole lot to do for kids. Although we moved around a lot from town to town around the Range, I never really seen a big city until I was around 10 or 11. When we finally drove down to the big city of Minneapolis and the first time I seen the skyscrapers, I was blown away.
I just had this feeling of awe in the pit of my stomach and a flutter in my heart.
I felt almost a sense of nostalgia stepping foot in Finland, the same place where my great grandparents set off to America from in the early 1900’s.
So oftentimes, we go on and on about compassion for others, but in the process, we forget about ourselves. We tell ourselves negative things about how we aren’t good enough, we deprive ourselves of sleep, we deny ourselves radical self-love because, you know, we don’t have time for that. This has been a lifelong struggle for me.
“Never mind. The self is the least of it. Let our scars fall in love.” –Galway Kinnell
So I’ve come to realize, we are worthy of giving ourselves compassion too. The saying goes, you gotta love yourself before you can love anyone else. And to expect reciprocation from others in order to validate ourselves isn’t always viable. In fact, it can make us crazy if we spend our whole lives waiting for someone to be nice to us or return the favors. We just have to let our inner love radiate out and it will touch everyone you meet and someday, maybe, it will boomerang back (it will).
I’m a huge animal lover. HUGE. And not just that, I think the least we can do in the world is not harm animals when we have no reason to.
There’s something about being in the back of a tuk-tuk, wind blowing in your hair, watching a land seeming so ancient and mystical fly by.
You feel more of a part of it all.
A part of something real.
A part of something that’s been around a REALLY long time.
This was on our bucket list for a long time…to see gorillas and chimpanzees in their natural habitat. And last year, we made it happen!
The Bwindi Impenetrable National Park in Uganda is one of the best places in the world to see mountain gorillas- if you are lucky to find them.
They are wild and are not tracked by tagging, but certain gorilla families are observed in their natural habitat for research and trackers go out in the early morning to find out their general vicinity. Read More
Many people have told me, “I really CAN’T travel right now.” For whatever reason, due to finances or obligations or something else, there are times in life when we may be stuck in one place, but we still feel the wanderlust deep inside.
Hey, don’t be sad!
FIND THE BEAUTY IN YOUR OWN BACKYARD.
There is beauty everywhere if you open your mind and look around. You can totally wanderlust in your neighborhood. Read More