Most memorable night’s sleep while travelling

Bang! Bang! That’s the taxi driver thumping on the window as I wake up inside, stranded on a back road in Nairobi. Brushing the sleep from my eyes I see the road covered in baboons and the taxi driver shaking his head and growling that I shouldn’t have fell asleep while he had gone to locate some petrol.

Baboons on road in Nairobi

Baboons on road in Nairobi

So, this was one of my most memorable sleeps during my travels through East Africa. However, it was short-lived, as jetlagged as I was the taxi driver probably only left me alone for an hour or so. Had I been more alert I would have realised it is not a safe place to be left alone locked in a broken-down car, let alone fall asleep alone in a car.

Leopard, Lake Nakuru National Park

Leopard, Lake Nakuru National Park

As part of a monthly travel link up that I have decided to join, I will tell you about a proper memorable night sleep while travelling. Given that initial sleep wasn’t a full ‘night’ I’ll describe my sleep the next evening.

In the depths of Kenya lies Lake Nakuru National Park, where monkeys slide through car windows to eat lunch, baboons steal you plate of food on your lap, where leopards climb trees and lions munch on zebra on the roadside. It is an amazing place to say the least.

Lake Nakuru National Park was the location where I first experienced proper camping. Not camping in your parent’s front yard and going inside a house to use a bathroom or staying in cabins where there is hot running water. No. Lake Nakuru National Park was ‘proper camping’. A clearing of grass surrounded by some of the tallest trees and greenest bushes was our campsite. There was luckily an actual toilet and cold running water (more than I can say for other areas in this trip), but no light and no hot water. The brave had a cold shower in the oncoming darkness, while the rest of us figured we could go smelly for one night. As the darkness drew in we were warned to be careful if we needed to get up in the night, animals roam the national park freely. By animals I mean ANY animals. Snakes, lions and on this evening in particular – water buffalo.

As we began to crawl into our tents (which were an experience just putting up to say the least) some bright eyes overlooked where we had gathered. A large beefy sounding water buffalo breathed heavily to let us know he (or she) was keeping an eye on the campsite. Let’s just say I wasn’t too keen to get up in the evening. You’d think being in such a secluded area would be quite and peaceful at night, but those pure quiet moments just made you think of what was going on in the distance. Sometimes you’d hear what would sound like heavy breathing by your head or a lion in the distance, or you’d be paranoid that the lump under your mat wasn’t just soil… it might be a snake.

Despite a somewhat interesting evening, it was an amazing location to wake up in, with scurrying monkeys and baboons, birds tweeting away to make you realise how remote and beautiful this location is.

Lake Nakuru National Park

Campsite at Lake Nakuru National Park

To read more about my travels in East Africa check out one of the following posts that I wrote to reflect my most memorable journey in my travels:

Baboons, elephants and game parks in Kenya (East Africa: Part 1) »

Chimps, National Parks and lush landscapes of Uganda (East Africa: Part 2) »

Face to face with a silverback (East Africa: Part 3) »

Or for more of my photography in East Africa, visit my travel galleries on here »