Many years ago, my friends and I went on a trip to Lake Nakuru National park in Kenya, that is famous for its lovely flamingos by the shores of the lake. We had driven two hours from Nairobi and our plan was to have lunch by the Baboon cliff, then proceed to tour the park. This Baboon cliff, affords the best view of the park, and one of my friends claimed that it inspired a scene in the Lion King movie, where 'Rafiki' presents the newborn 'Simba'. Wikipedia does not confirm this claim so don't quote me on that. Just take it from me that the view on this cliff is absolutely breathtaking.
So my friends and I, settled down to have a picnic, after we had verified that the landscape was as beautiful as it was rumoured to be. This picnic was not of the ordinary kind because the food we had parked was of very high quality. Our bread was nothing less than french bread from the only La Boulangerie Francaise I know of in Nairobi. We also had cheese slices, frankfurters, a variety of salads and several other sandwich fillings and drinks that are often associated with people in high society. Though my friends and I would not be regarded as well-off, we had decided to give ourselves a special treat to celebrate something that I now forget. What I do recall vividly however, was the very unbecoming reception we received from the residents of this cliff.
A very clear sign at the Baboon cliff says that it is a picnic site. We soon found out that the baboons don't agree with this. No sooner had we laid our food on a concrete slab under one of the sheds, than red-eyed baboons emerged from below the cliff to unceremoniously join in our feast.
(Please, for best effect, imagine the following scene in slow motion). I am carrying the bowl with cheese. A large baboon, obviously male and adult from its size and menacing look, is running directly towards me. My life flushes before my eyes. I throw the bowl into the air and barely escape a vicious attack, as the baboon grabs the cheese from the bowl, while I, petrified, discover that I can ran extremely fast. In just two gulps, this baboon makes short work of our delicately arranged slices of cheddar cheese that would have comfortably fed 15 girls. A second baboon swallows almost whole, the expensive french bread, while another tries to scoop the butter out of a tin.
All my friends and I scampered for safety by retreating into our vehicle, in a manner so chaotic and very much unlike our fashionable arrival. As other tourists condoled with us over the loss of our precious meal, one had the nerve to reprimand us for feeding the baboons. As if anyone in there right mind, would spend their money, hard-earned or otherwise, on choice items just so that they can feed them to such beastly and uncouth animals like these Lake Nakuru baboons.
To this day, I attribute my deviant behaviour to the post-traumatic stress disorder resulting from this incident.
(I am off to yet another workshop starting tomorrow so this will be my longest post this week. Savour it. You will be lucky to get five words out of me after this).
Labels: Baboon cliff, Kenya, Lake Nakuru National park