Saturday, May 26, 2012

Vacation of a Lifetime, Lake Naivasha Sopa Lodge

Next we ventured onto the property for a tour by Pascal, a super knowledgable and friendly guide.
Me and Pascal
This is a water buck and they were everywhere. This is a larger antelope.

This giraffe lives on the property.  He was with his herd but we learned something spooked the herd and they left.  The people who work at Sopa were very hopeful the herd would return.

Water Buck

Our awesome group

This is a dic dic.  The smallest of Africa's Antelope.  They are never in a herd and are typically in pairs.  So tiny and cute.

We were waiting for Pascal and another guide to take us on a night tour for hippo spotting.

If you look really, REALLY close, you can see the male hippo called a bull.

This was the next morning and unfortunately our last day.  Not long enough at all.

The Sopa Lodge grounds.

What is that on top of the structure?  Do you see it?

Now do you see it?

We have a zonked out vervet monkey.

Vervet monkey.

And just before we left, we spotted a few black Colobus Monkeys hanging around.

They were watching us, watch them.
Our time at Sopa Lodge just was not enough.  This part of the journey could have easily been spread out for several days.  We didn't want to leave.  But we were off to the Masai Mara and Keekorok Lodge for our safari.

Vacation of a Lifetime, Lake Naivasha Sopa Lodge...continued

Here are some more beautiful birds of East Africa. 

The Ibis.  This bird has a call that is so loud you can hear it echo throughout the trees.

Beautiful pelican.

Getting ready to take off.
In-flight.  I think the pelican looks very prehistoric in this shot.

My favorite bird, the Pied King Fisher.

Rainbow forming.

Beautiful rainbow.  We were truly on the end of the rainbow.

Our lake safari has come to an end.  Our boats docked and Pascal, one of the guides from the Lodge met  us to take us around the property at dusk to see all of the animals. It was on this walk where our group knew we were very lucky to be walking in such a magical place.

Sunday, May 20, 2012

Vacation of a Lifetime...Sopa Lodge Lake Naivasha

We boarded the boats that would take us out onto Lake Naivasha. Two boats in total. The entire experience reminded me of Disney was that perfect and surreal. But we weren't in Florida. We were in heaven on earth...beautiful Africa.

As the boat left the dock and we finally cleared the vegetation, the Lake welcomed us. It was close to sunset but the lake was so lovely.  All you could hear were bird calls.  So many different, yet beautiful sounds.  It was difficult to take it all in.

We made our way toward a herd of hippos.
This was our first hippo sighting of our journey, so it was quite exciting.

It was definitely a cool sight to see. Then, much to our surprise, we heard the sound of water splashing and air exhaling from a few yards behind our boat. 
We all turned around to see what it was. We were being a hippo.  He dolphin dove down into the water making that splash, and upon surfacing exhaled. While it was exhilarating to see, it was also a tad scary.

Our follower

Hopefully he lost interest and was swimming back to his herd.

After we had our fun with the hippos, we were off to listen to and hopefully see many different species of bird. You could certainly hear them and it was a lovely song being sung.  The enbankment was landscaped with Acacia Trees and my ears were filled with the sounds of the birds, I had to pinch myself to see if I was really here because all I wanted to do was to be still,  listen and remember that very moment forever.

Magestic Eagle
Another Eagle
This is my favorite bird that we discovered...the Pied Kingfisher.  Isn't he a beauty?!
Bird in flight

Friday, May 4, 2012

Vacation of a Lifetime...Lake Naivasha Sopa Lodge

The drive to the Sopa Lodge at Lake Naivasha was long. Here are a few photos of the interior of our kickin' ride:

There's Curt

Irene falling asleep. 

She's out

Capturing the moment

My snoozing husband

We experienced true African driving which is complete and utter chaos. At times I just couldn't look because I thought we were going to die.  But we did see some great things such as a 'little' area called The Great Rift Valley.

Over those make shift railings is STRAIGHT DOWN to your death.

Not much of a shoulder

Simon told us the story behind this church, which of course, I can't remember.
But it is an Italian church.  Quite pretty.

The Sopa Lodge at Lake Naivasha was also located in the Great Rift Valley.

Our Greeter

The gorgeous grounds of the Sopa Lodge. Truly heaven on earth.

You can't tell now, but on the grounds are TONS of animals.
Water Bucks, Dic Dic, Giraffe, many, many species of bird and hippos. 

Inside the main building of the Lodge.

This is what our rooms were housed in. Four rooms to a 'pod'.  Two upstairs and two down.

Here's the crew again

Irene and Todd

Lisa and Curt

Tom and Sue

More of the Lodge interior

On the grounds of the Sopa Lodge

Our room was up the stairs and on the right.

Path leading from the rooms to the main Lodge

Very different trees and vegetation. So interesting and beautiful

My favorite, the Acacia tree.  They sprinkle the landscape everywhere.

Lovely pool area

We were running a bit late when we arrived at Sopa Lodge. We had a water safari on the schedule and we had to be finished before the sun goes down because that is the time of each the hippos make their journey from the lake onto land and roam the grounds free.  At anytime during the evening/night hours we needed to go outside from point A to point B, we had to call for a guide for safety purposes.

We were guided to the dock area of which we were departing for the water safari.

The dock area

One of our two boats

My safari man.  And that's Pascal behind him. Fantastic guide from Sopa.

Say cheese

Our water safari begins