Dust, dust and even more dust
Amboseli and the surrounding area must be one of the dustiest places on earth. After a day in the field we usually looked like chimney sweeps, and afterwards black rivers vanished in the shower plughole.
We had quite a fascinating experience when all of a sudden a storm came up. First the hills in the distance mysteriously vanished, and as the wind came closer everything around us disappeared in a huge dustcloud. It was like a mixture between thick fog and a snow storm. You could hardly see the hand in front of your eyes, and we even had to switch on the windscreen wipers because dust particles were rolling down the windscreen like raindrops.
I went back to Loitokitok in September 2004, and amazingly the dust had even increased. People walking around Loitokitok took detours to avoid walking along the main road where cars where generating massive dust clouds in their wake. I once stepped off the pedestrian pathway to talk to someone in a car on the road, and the way my feet sank into the dust on the road actually felt like walking on snow.
Changing money at the bank
Going to the only bank in Oloitokitok is quite an experience. The first time we changed money there it took more than an hour to change a few dollars. They told us they had to wait for the exchange rates to be sent from Nairobi, then the registration numbers of every single dollar note were written down, and eventually nearly every employee at the bank counted and re-counted the money. I later discovered that even my guide book mentions the bank at Oloitokitok to be extremely slow when changing money. So next time I went I took my guidebook with me, showed the clerk the passage and looked at him with big eyes: "I'm sure that's not true, is it?" And I had my money in 20 minutes.