4 November 2015
Addis Ababa, the capital city of Ethiopia, gave us a chance to stock up on supplies, get bikes washed, celebrate a birthday and generally relax before heading off to Kenya.
Riding out of Addis the following day was absolute mayhem, true African style so it was good to eventually see some greenery and open roads again. We spent our first night after Addis camping in a beautiful, tropical like rainforest. It seemed more like Thailand than Ethiopia. Eating dinner that night, we were entertained by groups of Vervet and Colobus monkeys playing in the trees. Even a big lone male Baboon wandered into the camp for a feed.
The next day we had over 500 kms to ride to the Kenyan border, so we packed up camp and left very early. But like many best laid plans, things didn’t go quite as planned. One of the guys had a flat tyre in the middle of a small town, and just like everywhere else in Ethiopia, within minutes he was surrounded by dozens of people.
Things went from a simple tyre change to complete mayhem. The crowd continued to build until there were 100’s of surging people completely bottling the bike in. Before long, police arrived (in a tuk tuk) and started to whip the crowd with sticks to back them off, the crowd dispersed before slowly crowding in again only for the entire process to start again.
Arriving at the border crossing the next day was straightforward, our easiest yet and the bikes, people, truck, trailer and supplies were in Kenya 2 hours later. A huge relief
What a change Kenya is. Suddenly the goats, camels, cattle, donkeys and 1000’s of people walking along the road were gone. It was a nice change to ride without all that congestion again.
Our first night in Kenya we feasted on goat with delicious soup made by our amazing host, Henry and his family, at the appropriately named, Henry’s camp. It was a great introduction to Kenyan hospitality.
Crossing the Equator has been on many of the groups “must do” lists. So crossing it a few days later was a real buzz. Even if the only sign it was the equator was a cheaply made signpost saying “EQUATOR”. It was still great to stop and get some photos (and a few souvenirs).
This morning most of us swapped our motorbikes for pushbikes for a bike ride through Naivasha National park game reserve. Apparently this is the only game reserve in Africa where you can ride through on bikes. It was our first experience of real game viewing, it was an awesome morning. The Giraffe families were the highlight, and close behind were the warthogs prancing. These first glimpses will probably stay with us forever, and we have to remind ourselves there is so much more ahead of us and so many of the worlds’ greatest game parks yet to visit.
The rest of today we will spend relaxing. Tomorrow we head into Nairobi for some bike maintenance and rest. We will have travelled approximately 7500 ks by the time we reach Nairobi and it looks likes it’s going to be a busy few days there getting our hands dirty. But who would want it any other way?