Author: Yellow Duckie
Having return from a stressful business trip, I was dying for an ultimate rerlaxation at Lake Magadi where I could soak comfortably in the natural hot spring with a glass of wine in one hand while nibbling grapes held by the other... that was the perfect picture I had about Lake Magadi.

Unfortunately, to my dismay, our visit to Lake Magadi turns out to be quite the opposite. Don't get me wrong, the scenery was not that bad but i was beyond disappointed as the picture which was painted in my mind was far from the reality (lesson is always have an open heart). However, I must admit that sight of the dried soda lake and it's surrounding were fascinating and altogether breathtaking.

At the gate of Lake Magadi. Picture Courtesy of Marco

Once we have entered the park, the hand drawn map given by the guide was not sufficient to get you to the hot spring spot. It was pretty clear in the map however the road leading to the hotspring was unmarked and thus making it impossible to track. We eventually came to a small town and got a Masai guide to lead us there.

The scorching heat was quite unbearable and the fact that the water is hot makes it quite an unpleasant combination, however that did not stop us from giving our feet a good spa. What can I conclude of this trip? Without a great company of good friends, this trip would have been a waste of time... and the experiencing of having lunch at the bush makes more worthwhile :)
Author: Yellow Duckie
I have read and heard some great comment about the Hell's Gate national park thus we have decided to make this our next adventure destination. One of the most interesting fact about this place is that one will get to walk around the national park and be close to the animals (don't get too excited as most of the animals start running away from you even when you are miles away approaching them so you don't really get to get too close to them).

One can spot many geothermal point where white smoke rises from the ground into the air. My first impression when we first passed the Elsa gate was : disappointing. The national was dry and apart from the impression formation of the rocks there was pratically nothing much about this place which I would be excited about, not even the Fischer Gorge which they talk so much about.
However, I am glad that it was not the case and this journey was not a total waste as when we decided to hike from the picnic site. We were anticipating to see the gorge however, until today I have no clue if we have seen but I am convinced that we have as the hike did reveal the beauty of the gorge. Our self volunteered guide has led us through a trail (dried up river due to the dry season) and I must salute his patience with us as we never stop taking our own sweet time posing for a great vanity shot of ourselves and God's marvelous creation.

We only took the trail from the picnic site on foot, the rest was by car. I would advise you to do the same unless you are that desperate for exercise. Although the Buffalo Circuit was noted the best scenery trail, it was not the case as we weren't sure if we actually went on it and the sight was not that impressive. Then again, perhaps it's the dry season that made the scenery so dull.
Author: Yellow Duckie
Would one national park differ one from another? Answer is yes. I must admit that when we have decided to visit Amboselli National Park, I was not that keen on the safari, instead for a relaxing weekend with good company and of course, to catch a glimpse of Mount Kilimanjaro, the highest peak in Africa.

The journey from Nairobi right to the doorstep of our villa was unexpectedly long. We were expecting only a 4 hour drive, however it turned out to be about more than 5 hours. Rattling along the Mombasa Road to Namanga and straight to Amboselli National was not unbearable with the company of great friends.
The moment we drive up to the Amboselli National Park's gate, we thought we were there...unfortunately the long wait during the ticket adminstration has taken longer than expected and plus the fact that our lodge is still an hour drive away, we were completely restless when we got to the Villa. ( I would strongly recommend this villa for big groups)

The landscape of this national park is quite flat and barren. Although some parts of the national parks has got beautiful view of the lake but I find that the number of animals here are disappointing. If you are looking for elephants, here is definitely "d" place for you as they can be seen literally almost everywhere in the park. As for the cats, we only caught sight of 2 teenage lions with their messy half grown mane that makes the the "ugliest" lions I've seen thus far. To avoid discouraging you further, it could be that we were there at the wrong season to catch the cats (lions, cheetah, leopards)..just our luck.

At certain part of the national park, you could find yourself drawn to the majestic Mount Kilimanjaro in full view (clear sky). The Ol Tukai Lodge where we stayed gives you a full view of the mountain at the door step of your villa or lodge. We never regret a single moment of having to wake up at 6 am for it.

Another interesting point to visit is the Observation Hill Walk trail which is quite an easy hike from the bottom to the top for the bird's eyes view of the national park.