There's nothing like an overland journey on a truck. It screams adventure already. Not to mention that macho appeal as leader of the vehicular pack. In Africa, trucks ply long distances between countries ferrying everything under the sun. Africa after all is a big continent to cover. We're talking days, oftentimes weeks, of arduous overland journey.
|our route (map by Intrepid)|
|Inside the truck|
|Helping prepare lunch at a roadside picnic|
At our joining point in Nairobi on a cool Sunday early morning, I finally boarded my Intrepid truck. It felt like my first plane ride (in other words: my excitement was sky-high). For the next 8 days, this was to be our main mode of transport, bringing us from Nairobi to Kisii, Lake Victoria, Serengeti, Ngorongoro Crater and Meserani before heading back to Nairobi.
Like any other adventure outfitter in Africa and South America, Intrepid uses custom-built Mercedes trucks meant to withstand the rigors of long-distance travel. Some creature comforts are thrown in: padded seats, big windows with curtains, coolers, battery chargers and individual lockers at the back. Compartments below us is where tents, folding chairs, folding tables, gas cylinders, food and water are stored.
Heading west from Nairobi, we merged with the notorious traffic jam in all of Africa. Cars and buses and trucks elbowed each other out. The only consolation is that at 1,795 meters above sea level, the city is blessed with a pleasantly cool temperature - which somehow eases down road rage common elsewhere. No wonder Kenyans happily adapt to "hakuna matata" like an opt repeated mantra.
|First night digs|
After a quick roadside picnic in Narok, we moved on, the road feeling like it's never going to end. It took almost the whole day just to cover the 309-kilometer distance between Nairobi and Kisii - the hilltop town that was to be our pit stop before moving to Lake Victoria the next day.
As we settled in for the night at the town's St. Vincent Catholic Pastoral Centre, we were treated to real beds with pillows and blankets. All the succeeding nights after that will mean sleeping in tents and sleeping bags and "watching for wild animals before going out to pee". Hakuna matata. Really, there are no worries.
|Days later we got stopped by a lioness|