Search the Community

Showing results for tags 'Buffalo Springs'.



More search options

  • Search By Tags

    Type tags separated by commas.
  • Search By Author

Content Type


Categories

  • Articles
    • Forum Integration
    • Frontpage
  • Pages
  • Miscellaneous
    • Databases
    • Templates
    • Media

Categories

  • New Features
  • Other

Forums

  • Travel Talk
    • Safari talk
    • Lodge, camp and operator news
    • Trip reports
    • Trip Planning
    • Self driving
    • Health issues
    • Travel News
  • Trip Resources
  • WildlifeTalk
    • African wildlife
    • Indian wildlife
    • World wildlife
    • Birding
    • Research / scientific papers
    • Newsletters
    • Organisations and NGOs
  • Photography Talk
    • General discussion
    • Your Africa images
    • Your India images
    • Wildlife images from around the world
    • Articles
    • Your Videos
  • Features
    • Interviews
    • Articles
    • Safaritalk Debates
    • Park talk
  • Safaritalk - site information
    • Forum Help topics
    • General information
    • Site news, updates, development

Found 6 results

  1. This trip report covers a safari I took to Kenya with my friend Tommy Graham. Tommy is a good naturalist who also knows his birds, though he is not a lister or twitcher by any means. Mammals are his primary natural history interest. Tommy went to school with my father and has been a friend of the family since before I was born. This was the first trip to Africa for both of us. Prologue By rights I should do acknowledgements first - because this exceptional safari would have been a much poorer experience without the safaritalk community at large, as well as several individual members who were extremely generous and helpful with their advice for this Safari newby. For key advice I am particularly indebted to @@Safaridude, @@armchair bushman, @@pault, @@Tom Kellie, @@madaboutcheetah, and @@Geoff. For inspiration - too many to list but particularly @@Safaridude, @@Game Warden, @@madaboutcheetah, @@twaffle, @@Paolo, @@Bush dog, @@michael-ibk, @@pault, @@COSMIC RHINO, and @@AKR1. And for outstanding guiding, agent services, and "riding to the rescue" to overcome the unexpected loss of a private guide in the Mara at the last minute - Ben Mugambi of Ben's Ecological Safaris. I am so glad to count Ben as a friend and field companion - he is a "birder's birder", a fabulous field man and safari guide, and a scholar and a gentleman who is rock-solid dependable. The theme of this safari was "good luck". And baby animals I suppose. Time and again the guides or camp managers said "We have never seen X before". Or "we have only seen Y two or three times in our lives." I suspect some camps say things like that fairly often to set the hook with their guests - but in our case, I believed the statements to be true! Itinerary: January 7 - Arrive Nairobi late pm. Overnight at Purdy Arms. January 8 - Recovery day (birding the 20-acre grounds) + shopping in Nairobi. Overnight at Purdy Arms January 9 - Day trip to Ngong Hills + Magadi Road w/ Ben's. Overnight at Purdy Arms. January 10 - Day trip to Nairobi NP w/ Ben's. Overnight at Purdy Arms. January 11 - Drive to Mt. Kenya NP with Ben's. Overnight at Castle Forest Lodge. January 12 - Mt. Kenya National Park with Ben's. Overnight at Castle Forest Lodge. January 13 - Drive to Samburu + Buffalo Springs. Overnight at Samburu Simba Lodge January 14 - Full day in Samburu + Buffalo Springs. Overnight at Samburu Simba Lodge. January 15 - Full day in Samburu + Buffalo Springs. Overnight at Samburu Simba Lodge. January 16 - Short game drive in Samburu, drive to Naro Meru River Lodge. Overnight Naro Meru. January 17 - Bush flight from Nanyuki to Mara Naboisho. Overnight Encounter Mara. January 18 - All day in Mara Naboisho. Overnight Encounter Mara. January 19 - Morning game drive then vehicle transfer to Offbeat Mara in Mara North Conservancy. Overnight Offbeat Mara. January 20 - All day in Mara North, overnight Offbeat Mara. January 21 - Masai Mara National Reserve 7am-4pm, game drive in Mara North, overnight Offbeat Mara. January 22 - All day in Mara North, overnight Offbeat Mara. January 23 - Morning game drive, lunch, then 4pm flight to Wilson Airport, transfer to the Boma. January 24 - Depart JKIA for USA We flew Jetblue from Charleston to New York City, then Emirates to Dubai and another Emirates flight to Nairobi. It was a 26 hour trip and I was not able to sleep a wink. My carryon was a Think Tank Photo camera backpack - Airport Essentials. I loved it - but next time I might get the model that is one size larger. It held my camera, lens, a Swarovski spotting scope, Swarovski binoculars, laptop, iPad, memory cards, batteries, a La Cie portable hard drive, cables, camera cleaning kit, and 1 day's clothing. I checked two bags, including a large duffel bag (Patagonia Black Hole Bag). This was to take my tripod, beanbag, and other bulky gear. Next time I will travel lighter - did not need sweater, long underwear and various other ballast it turns out. Upon arriving at JKIA, there were not different queues for eVisa and Visa-on-arrival. But the lines moved quickly. The immigration agent asked for my eVisa and I said we needed Visa on arrival. She scowled slightly but then took $50 from each of us, gave us the slips of paper and we were on our way. The baggage claim was chaotic, crowded bedlam. After following our flight number as it moved from carousel to carousel, we watched an endless succession of luggage parading around and around. After close to an hour, we finally started seeing our bags. Huge relief! When we got outside and saw the guy holding the sign with my name on it, a wave of relief washed over us. We were home free now and on our way to our lodging. We were the only guests for our entire stay at Samburu Simba, and the only guests in camp for the first part of our stay at Encounter Mara. There were only a couple of other parties staying at Castle Forest Lodge while we were there. We had private vehicles the entire safari. I cannot say enough good things about Offbeat Mara camp and Encounter Mara camp - we loved them both immensely. And I loved the Purdy Arms in Karen - a nice laid-back place, green + leafy + good birds, very affordable, good food and drink, convenient to Magadi Road + Ngong Hills and Nairobi National Park, as well as the Galleria mall (for beer, Forex, and a SIM card). Many thanks to @@armchair bushman and @@pault for suggesting Purdy! There are those who scoff at the notion of a photo safari in Kenya during the green season, particularly one this green - high grass everywhere, etc. Let me tell you - things worked out very well. The green season is a double-edged sword for sure but the good edge far outdid the bad edge on our trip. We were still able to find extensive short/cropped grassland areas, and even in tallgrass areas we could usually pop out the top of the roof and shoot down on targets to overcome the tall grass. The Vehicles: Offbeat Mara won the "most functional safari vehicle" contest - closely followed by Ben's Ecological Safaris. But the vehicles at Encounter Mara were very good and completely satisfactory as well. Ben's Ecological Safaris vehicle: Encounter Mara vehicle (David on the left and our guide Wilson on the right): Offbeat Mara vehicle (the short wheel base was invaluable for not getting stuck): Interior shot of Offbeat Mara vehicle, showing the very handy storage shelf behind the cabin: The companions: For our first week we were guided by a sharp young birding and safari guide named Francis Rutich, from Ben's Ecological Safaris. And our driver John was a fine driver and very good spotter. Francis has some of the sharpest eyes I have encountered in my field travels. I run with guys like Steve NG Howell and Todd McGrath - and Francis would give them a run for their money at sea. He might take them on land... I am no slouch at spotting birds + wildlife, even in heavy cover but it was spooky how good Francis is. Francis on the job: We had a Maasai gentleman named Wilson for a guide at Encounter Mara - he is one sharp safari guide! Good driver, good at route planning and very attuned to our wants and needs. No complaints whatsoever. A young man named David from Koyaki Guiding School was attached to Encounter Mara during their semester break - he was very sharp as well. * See the above Encounter Mara vehicle photo to see Wilson and David. During our time at Offbeat Mara, we were fortunate to have a Maasai gentleman named Josphat for a driver/spotter/guide. Josphat is superb! Though we had intended to have the legendary James Sengeny for a private guide at Offbeat, a foulup that we learned of 5 days before our arrival in the Mara meant James was unable to guide us. This is a somewhat sensitive matter, and I won't mention the agency involved, but suffice it to say I am 100% convinced that James was in no way at fault either for the foulup or for us not getting notified very far in advance. When I learned the bad news, I was sitting in the bar at Samburu Simba at 3pm on January 14. By 4pm Ben Mugambi had agreed to fly to Mara North and guide us during our time there. Ben handled the Safarilink tickets and other details, and he knows the crew at Offbeat well. What a relief! Ben saved the day and I am so glad to have spent time in the field with him - great learning experience and lots of fun all around. Here is a photo of Josphat, Tommy, and Ben at our first sundowner together: The next post will cover our first day afield - a day trip visiting the Ngong Hills, a long stop at 'Corner Baridi' (cold corner), and various stops on the way down to Oltepesi and beyond. Lots of birds and birding, but also a very unexpected mammal find!
  2. In January 2002 a sensational story broke regarding a Lioness who had adopted a Oryx calf. This astonishing event happened in Samburu Kenya. The local Samburu had named the lioness Kamunyak, the blessed one. By the time we arrived in Samburu in October she had adopted four calves and since the fourth calf there had been no more news on any further adoptions, so we arrived without expectation, just a little disappointed of having missed such a sensational event. Samburu is our favourite park. It's scenic beauty sets it apart from others, though Meru comes a close second, and we always feel at home when we are here. The whole reserve area actually comprises of Samburu & Buffalo springs reserves, one separated from the other by the Uwaso nyiro river (Brown water), but connected by a bridge near to Samburu Serena lodge where we were staying. Our first few days were very rewarding with good sightings of Samburu's famous northern species, Grevy Zebra, Gerenuk, Somali Ostrich, Beisa Oryx and the most beautiful of Africa's Giraffe, the reticulated. Birdlife was prolific, as it often is in dry country, with a good selection of eagles and even an Egyptian Vulture, and Elephant sightings were also very good. Our forth morning continued in the same vein with Elephant crossing the Ewaso Nyiro river, but then we came across one of Samburu's many Leopards and it was only 7.15am. We left the leopard resting in an Acacia tree up along the ridge and headed down onto the plain which once was home to black Rhino who fed on the Croton bushes when we first came here. As we ambled along enjoying the beautiful scenery reflecting on what a lovely morning it had been, Leonard our driver stopped the vehicle and reaching for his binoculars said "Alan, look at the small Acacia tree ahead, then to the left, there is something at the bottom of the bush". I found the bush and yes, there was a Lion. "yes, I see it Leonard" I said, and he replied "not the Lion, to the right of it". Looking again I saw something move and thought it must be a cub and said "yes she has a cub". "No" came the reply, "look again". This time it stood up, turned around and laid down again, this time clear of the bush. By now my wife had found it and in a whispered breath said "oh my goodness it's a baby Oryx". Yes, it really was. We sat there for what seemed like an age in total disbelief, then reality sank in and with camera at the ready we move as close as the road would allow us, and although with binoculars we could see perfectly, it was not ideal for the camera, but this was not a time for regrets. When we left the UK it was with our usual expectation of, you see what you see, and with no thought of seeing such an incredible moment in nature, especially as there had been no more news since the adoptions earlier in the year. This would be her fifth adoption and if I am honest, there were times I could so easily have cried with the sheer joy of being so blessed in witnessing something so monumental. I asked Leonard if he knew the Lioness had adopted another baby Oryx? "No, no" he said, "I am as amazed at seeing this as you are". I only took a few photos as it seemed to make more sense to try and take in every minute detail of what was before us, and to enjoy what would surely be a once in a life time event. When we arrived back at the lodge our good friend June Kyula (manager) was in reception and asked us if we had had a good drive?..... She contacted the ranger station and passed on what we had told her, Leonard gave them the approximate position and we spent the whole of breakfast going over & over every detail. We checked on them during each game drive we took, and June was there that afternoon as was everyone else. Thankfully the lodges were not to busy so disturbance was kept to a minimum, and the rangers made sure it stayed that way. On our last evening Leonard drove to a high point in the Buffalo springs reserve which over looked Samburu. It was a beautiful spot with views of the Ewaso Nyiro river lined with Doum palm's which cast their long shadows towards the hills with Mount Longonot in the distance and the sun setting behind us. We were totally mesmerised by the scene that lay before us, and it was the clinking of glasses that brought us back to reality. June had arranged a sundowner for us on our last night at Samburu Serena before we moved on to Ol Pejeta conservancy. It was the perfect finish to what will always be our most memorable safari moment
  3. INTRODUCTION The trip I made, in 1989, to Kenya was my first trip completely devoted to wildlife observation. On previous trips, I had made brief incursions into the animal world, in particular in Nepal, where I had my first contact with wildlife. But what got me to become absolutely mad about the African bush find its origins outside Africa. During a trip to Sri Lanka, I had the opportunity to visit the small reserve of Bundala. I lived an intense moment when I encountered, on foot, an elephant. It was short, but so magical. Misty morning in the Chitwan Nepal, 1981 : Elephants of the Tiger Tops Lodge. Some wildlife pictures from Sri Lanka (1988). Yet, it was not my first travel to Africa. Indeed, I set foot for the first time on the African continent during a two weeks’ professional trip to Niger and Burkina Faso. As part of my work, I was led to travel to remote locations where I saw some wildlife. I still remember my first wild elephant, a big bull walking along the road Niamey-Dosso. On the other hand, what I remember of Burkina Faso has nothing to do with wildlife. Indeed, it was in the days of the revolution of Captain Sankara. Two things are always clearly present in my mind , adolescents and even children , boys and girls in rags, heavily armed , who were the guardians of the revolution and patrolling in Ouagadougou and outside, and something I never saw elsewhere in Africa, motorcycle police women. This topic also includes, but incidentally, the second trip I made to Kenya in 1994. The time has, since, cleared a lot of things from my memory. So, it will be more a photo album, sometimes commented, than a detailed report. The pictures are scanned slides that have not stood very well the test of time, and 10X15 cm poor quality prints. For the 1989 trip, reservations had been made by exchange of faxes with a local Tour Operator that was owned by the State. Some lodges were also owned by the State. My opinion of the driver-guide was excellent at the time, as that of most of those who complete their first safari. Indeed, when you are on a first trip in the bush, most of the time, you don’t know a lot about wildlife. So, if the guide has empathy, good eyes and is attentive to his customers’ wishes, no doubt that he will be considered as being very good. Now looking back, failing to have been an experienced guide, I must say that he was a good driver and a very reliable person. He was retired from an elite regiment of the army. This aspect of his personality was important, because at the time some attacks, whose victims were tourists, were committed by poachers, mainly Somalis. Moreover tragic news occurred in the second part of my stay, in which there was much talk because of the reputation of the victim; George Adamson was murdered, by Somali bandits (shiftas), trying to defend a tourist. Anyway, I enjoyed his company. I recall his name, Joseph Kiluvutu.
  4. http://www.standardmedia.co.ke/thecounties/article/2000172348/ngo-officials-and-isiolo-county-residents-protest-over-plans-to-lease-out-three-of-kenya-s-game-parks This article from Standard Digital Media in Nairobi tells of the negotiations between Isiolo County officials and Africa Parks concerning the proposed 99-year lease of Buffalo Springs, Shaba and Bisanadi. Several local Isiolo land NGOs have stated their opposition to the proposed arrangement, as they feel that the public hasn't been adequately informed or consulted about the leasing of Kenyan land to non-Kenyans.
  5. In true Blue Peter tradition, here is one I prepared earlier. I really like the interaction that arises when trip reports are posted bit by bit. The story unfolds in a chronological way and we all get the chance to share the suspense of wondering what will come next. Unfortunately because I have to write my reports for my own site and others, I need to post them as a complete report. Well, I don't NEED to, but I have found that if I do not do it this way I struggle to find the time. So, excuses set out, here is a report from my trip to Samburu a short while ago. @@samburumags @@madaboutcheetah - this one is for you On the banks of the Ewaso Nyiro - A Samburu Safari Although this is posted as a complete trip report I am more than happy to respond to any queries it may stir up.
  6. As part of our two month trip to Africa this summer, we were able to squeeze in a ten-day trip to Kenya. 42 species later, here is the trip report! Enjoy. Coke Smith www.cokesmithphototravel.com Here is the trip report: http://www.cokesmithphototravel.com/Kenya_Wildlife_Safari.html

© 2006 - 2018 www.safaritalk.net - Talking Safaris and African Wildlife Conservation since 2006. Passionate about Africa.