Day 12 - Wednesday 20th April 2011


Francis' nephew Kennedy has a new house which is quite luxurious compared to Joe's simple home. Waiting for the reverend gentlemen to appear, Meld enjoyed the leather sofa and satellite TV.

The house illuminated by the morning sun.

"Kwaheri" (farewell).

Francis took us on an interesting route around Nairobi using the new Eastern Bypass, which is complete apart from the junctions and links at either end. This is the bridge for the junction with the Thika Road.

The Thika Road itself is being reconstructed all the way from the Eastern Bypass to Thika, so it is a bit of a nightmare. Traffic management as in Europe doesn't exist - there's just a free-for-all often over unsurfaced ground!

It didn't take long to reach Nyeri, and find the Outspan Hotel where we'll spend the night. Adjoining the hotel is Paxtu where Baden-Powell spent his last years and eventually died (he and his wife Olave are buried nearby).

Meld and I have a room right on the end of the hotel with a balcony overlooking the trees. Paradise.

The room is spacious and well appointed.

We took a walk round the gardens. The hotel dates from the 1920s, though the part we are staying in dates from the 1980s, but is in keeping with the period feel.

An interesting palm tree in front of the hotel.

Exotic flowers too.

While Joe, Francis and Aid made a dash to the Aberdare Park HQ to buy tickets for the park, Meld made friends with a chameleon.

We had a brief tour of Paxtu. There was memorabilia from scouts (and guides) from around the world.

After lunch we got a bus from Outspan to Treetops, some 17km away up in the Aberdares National Park.

View of Nyeri town from the bus.

Building work at Christ the King Seminary.

We walked the final 500m from the bus to Treetops (with an armed escort).

Inside Treetops where tea awaited us.

A bushbuck runs away.

A hornbill flies in front of the building.

A buffalo at the waterhole.

A waterbuck, two warthogs and a buffalo.

Two birds in the mud.

Wart hogs take water.

Another waterbuck.

We went on a game drive, and saw a Buffalo.

And baboons.

Leaping baboon.

Waterbucks watching us.

Sitting among the Sodom's Apples (Solanum something or other).

Or standing.

Buffalo road block.

Baby buffalo and mum.

Meld spotted an elephant in the bush.

He was really rather close!

Our gang at the viewpoint - just before the heavy rain began.

Our Land Cruiser - the opening roof had to be closed here for the rain.

Bird in a tree making one heck of a noise!

Another waterbuck.

Two warthogs fighting.

Elephants at the waterhole at Treetops.

And another (there were at least 23 of them in the fading light).

Buffalo and baby take a drink.

Bird in the water as the light really goes.

It had got quite chilly, so the fire back at Outspan was very welcome.

Map of today's activities.

Map of Aberdares section.

Track profile shows the drop from Nairobi to the Tana river, then the climb to Nyeri, and the climb again to Treetops and into the park.