Reality Bites: Where’s the Lake?

Linda Lou Burton posting from Sarova Lion Hill Lodge, Lake Nakuru National Park, Nakuru, Kenya –Daniel got us through the Park gate. Then along the lakeshore road to Sarova’s gate. Out of the 4×4, up the hill slowly, slowly (pole, pole) leaning on my cane, my other hand digging my passport out of its ultra-secure pocket in my pants (don’t look!). Grabbing passports right and left from everyone, Abdi ran ahead to check us in.

We were running terribly late, the dining room about to close; hurry through the buffet; gulp the bottled water down. Ten people with too many words falling out, pent up like kids on a sugar high. Then – good grief, really? –  Abdi announced the Afternoon Game Drive. “Everybody ready?” I most definitely was not. “You go ahead,” I said to Rick. “I’ll just birdwatch here, on my own time.” I already knew what Sarova offered, from its website.

Sarova Lion Hill Game Lodge is set along “the Lion Hill” in Lake Nakuru National Park. Concealing its remote location amidst Kenya’s Great Rift Valley, the safari lodge offers scenic and spectacular views of the Lake and National Park from its 67 chalet style rooms, all with terraces and a sense of calm and relaxation. (Their Photo)

Beyond the stunning views, Lion Hill offers great food in the Flamingo Room. Overlooking the pool and the lake, the restaurant serves buffet breakfast, lunch and dinner with live cooking counters as well.  (Their Photo)

The Rift Valley Bar opens into an amphitheater where traditional dance performances are held each evening and offers spectacular views over the lake. (Their Photo)

Stunning views from my terrace! Heck, I could have a great time right there. I ambled to our room, Acacia #10. Abdi made sure I was close to everything this time, no wheelchair needed to get back and forth. The room was close, but my “stunning view” overlooked the flagpoles and drive at the front entrance. Beyond that, a mass of trees ended the sightline. I was close to Lake Nakuru, according to the map. But I couldn’t see it.

I walked down the hill, following the path to the pool. A sign listed 25 birds that hung out here. They weren’t hanging out today! I spotted one weaver bird; please tell me you can make it out! The grass was pretty and green, the trees thick, tall; was there really a LAKE beyond? I passed the sign about Massage and Spa (appointment needed); found the pool. It was misting rain; the chair cushions had been put away.

No view here, trees thick and lush around the pool. No place to sit. Back up the hill to #10, slowly, slowly (pole, pole). Our room was small; twin beds, a desk with straight-back chair. Mosquito nets already down, lamps barely making shadows on the wall. The porch the only place to be, watching flagpoles in the dark. The 4x4s are back; the noise. Rick is full of things to tell, all the pictures, all the bumps, the road so bad. He’s tired. A quiet dinner in the dining room, just the two of us; by the window, we agree. Lift our spirits, watch the dancers dance.

Our hostess greets us, “By the window please?” I ask. “So we can see the terrace, when the dancers dance.” A puzzled look, “We have no dancers here,” she said.

Our food was lovely, that much I concede. The dining room is pretty, the staff attentive, kind. But you can take my word for this: you cannot see the LAKE!

Sarova Lion Hill Lodge

PS: A Bonus. If you can spot the weaver bird, my birdwatching afternoon was not a total loss. I can’t believe I got the shot — the bird was high in the trees and I’d never seen a weaver bird, or nest, before, so wasn’t sure what I was looking at. I’ll send you a dollar if you send me a note saying “I see the weaver bird!”