AmyT

Q: Who Gnu that Kenya is so delightful?

184 posts in this topic

Posted (edited)

John Naini is their chief and showed us how the villagers made fire, beaded necklaces, etc. Of course, as teachers, we were far more interested in the kids  ;)  than the division of labor.

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Using the selfie mode... so the kids could see themselves.  

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Traditional homes, mostly made by the women.

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Loved their songs!! Such a special visit.

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Math is universal!

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Porini has built a fresh water tank for the villagers.  It's a fine line; they want to retain their cultural heritage. John warned me not to let the children touch the phones (presumably to reduce the influence on their lives.)  Most of the adults seemed to have smart phones but they were kept out of reach of the children.

Edited by AmyT
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Very good so far Amy. Really getting into it and your daughter looks happy - despite the frosted glass (at least it was frosted!!)..

 

 I like the improvised blackboard. :mellow: 

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Posted (edited)

Day three in the Amboseli ecosystem. We returned to Amboseli NP for the morning.

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Roadblock... it's ok, we will wait.

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It's been said before, but it's amazing how silent the elephants are.

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Edited by AmyT
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Posted (edited)

I'm reminded about my first days at Amboseli (since I am now an old hand!!!)... the feel of warm and cool breezes on my face, the earthy scent, just marvelous.

 

We spent a lot of time with Little Boy, as he had his breakfast.  He didn't mind the paparazzi, and hung out at the side of the road.

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Edited by AmyT
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Posted (edited)

The terrain between Amboseli NP and Selenkay Conservancy varies dramatically.  We stopped for lunch under a magnificent tree, and then returned to Selenkay in time for a nap.

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Sociable weaver nests ... red soil

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Maasai cattle grazing along Selenkay boundary.  Possibly the Merueshi River.

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A bird. :D  on a termite mound.  Further ID necessary.  ;)  [Edit: a martial eagle!]

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On the road to Kili

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Map of Amboseli & Selenkay... because I am a map person.

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Edited by AmyT
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For our last game drive in Selenkay, we hung out with the local memory of elephants.  (I love this collective noun! Perfect for an elephant lover!) I should have tried to count them, they were near camp every day that we were there.  I'd estimate there were fewer than 20, but it made a huge impact when we found them on our first morning's game drive, literally a stone's throw from camp.  On our last night, one brushed against the tent of one of the other ladies in camp. I was jealous!

 

Katy called this "waving at us." I must confess that I'm a little partial to the babies.  As the sun started to set, that beautiful golden light paid a visit.595d1735429c5_KY0_7762(2).thumb.JPG.2ddf7c58f29fd16a84470dc0b8a8a94e.JPG

 

Image for scale, they came right up to us!

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Close-knit family.

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A couple for @dlo595d1b6b21af1_KY0_7885(2).thumb.JPG.f7f79b0e686f509dda0e82edd588b339.JPG

 

 

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En route to the Amboseli airstrip, we enjoyed seeing a Ruppell's vulture and hyena pups.  Wilson and Melita were a terrific combo of guide/tracker and driver.  Melita is FEARLESS!! :)  We loved our time at Porini Amboseli; next up was Porini Rhino.595d2a434ecf1_KY0_8030(2).thumb.JPG.dcf4b05b0d224b1eff34f21caeaa202b.JPG

 

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As we landed at Nanyuki Airport, we were greeted by a bus of schoolchildren on a field trip to the airport (on a Saturday!)  The kids waved and waved, and the chaperones waved too. One lady said "we like you!" and I said "we like you too!!"

 

Once inside the gates of Ol Pejeta, we were greeted by a number of beauties.595d2eef9b913_KY0_8167(2).thumb.JPG.d4f77ba92628fff9ac2cf8590495f7d7.JPG

 

Our first honeymooning lions...595d2fa0195bb_KY0_8177(2).thumb.JPG.ec0b5340b013c29d34fbadffc88cbc9c.JPG

 

Round two...595d3049b2242_KY0_8200(2).thumb.JPG.eed40cc9481961a255cc7eeadea37131.JPG

 

Mr and Mrs Waterbuck595d3146c9dda_KY0_8249(2).thumb.JPG.0609fbcf19f85bbc26556f443876a47e.JPG

 

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More elephants crossing the road595d31d68a08a_KY0_8253(2).thumb.JPG.1c5f1751f01d3f39c286b7e043065384.JPG

 

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rhino at a distance

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@AmyT you had such great views of Kili in addition to all the super wildlife sightings. 

 

Matt

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Just now, Game Warden said:

@AmyT you had such great views of Kili in addition to all the super wildlife sightings. 

 

Matt

 

We were very lucky!  The last few Kili shots are from the Porini waterhole, which has a beautiful view of Kili. 

 

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Our guides/drivers were Little John and Nicholas.  During our short time at Porini Rhino, we had quite in-depth conversations about how they came to be hired by Porini and their promotion from within.  My admiration for the company grew when I discovered that Jake would groom and coach his staff for promotion.

 

In the afternoon, we went for a walk with the Maasai warriors, learning about the whistling-thorn acacias and the symbiotic ants that live on them. Later they had a spear-throwing contest, and then sang for us. It was delightful.595d3e0b2fbbc_DSC_0817(2).thumb.JPG.f9e247b74550b1589cf8b4fb1025b8ed.JPG

 

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Sandals seemed to be adapted from motorcycle tires.  Ingenious reuse of readily-available materials!

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Loving these eles.

The little hyenas are really endearing, too.

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Some very nice photos in this thread @AmyT.    

 

* I particularly like the one of the two elephants strolling off down the road.

 

Thanks also for including the map of Amboseli and Selenkay.    I hope to work them into my next Kenya+Tanzania safari.   @Antee's trip report about the good sightings he had in Selenkay made me really want to check it out, and your TR only adds to it.

 

 

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Posted (edited)

Out for our evening game drive close to camp, we followed a lioness for 5 minutes until she spotted some zebras. Two minutes later, we saw our first kill on safari.

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We followed her for a while, hoping she would lead us to her cubs, with no luck.

 

Next morning, we spotted this buffalo calf all alone, no herd in sight. Guides Nicholas and Little John estimated him to be fewer than 2 days old (he was still wet.)  We are so insulated from nature; these scenes were a little heartbreaking.595e43e4b3d16_KY0_8435(2).thumb.JPG.4c292750452187aac8148cb7d12434c2.JPG

 

"Can't we save him?" Answer: No.

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A (fuzzy, heavily cropped) bird in flight. 595e44c635505_KY0_8454(2).thumb.JPG.795a220a4d0eb3aa6cc3043ce9010a9b.JPG

 

We observed a wide variety of mammal species but I was stuck in a fuzzy rut, so will spare you all the mediocre photos.  Having to stay on the roads has its' price.

 

Ol Pejeta map. Porini Rhino is at the far western corner.

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Looking at the map, it appears that we were near the Marsh viewpoint when we saw this next fellow, an introduced species from South America. Little John spelled the name for me, but I didn't write it down. I'd never heard of it before and hope someone out there has an ID for him. He eats the water hyacinth, an invasive plant species.  [Edit: ah, the wonders of google. I right-clicked and search Google for a similar image.  He is a jutia or hutia. Hystricomorpha, suborder hystricomorpha - an order of rodents including: porcupines; guinea pigs;chinchillas; etc. From thefreedictionary.com]

 

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Edited by AmyT
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Lovely trip report so far!  Enjoying your thoughts and photos!  Did I read that correctly, you had to stay on-road in Ol Pejeta?

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4 hours ago, amybatt said:

Lovely trip report so far!  Enjoying your thoughts and photos!  Did I read that correctly, you had to stay on-road in Ol Pejeta?

When we were in the main part of the conservancy, we stayed on the road. Near camp, we went off road to follow cats.

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The rodents are coypu or nutria. Every animal on the map except the buffalo elephant and cow you should be able to offroad for the larger predators.

 

You are very cool about your first kill! Only 5 minutes to wait too, nice photos of the lion before the "fuzz" hit. Do you know why you went so far from the camp on an evening drive?

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Jake Grieves-Cook has been very kind by emailing me answers about my unidentified rodent and raptor:

 

The aquatic animal is a Coypu (also often known as a Nutria in the USA), Latin name myocastor coypus. As nutria is the word for otter in Spanish, Coypu is the preferred name in Latin America, Europe and Africa where it is an invasive species. It was farmed for its fur in many countries and often escaped into marshland where it caused considerable damage, such as in Louisiana. In Lake Naivasha in Kenya it destroyed all the water lilies and lily pads which had been important in providing a safe habitat for Tilapia fish. In the UK there were many thousands in Norfolk and eastern England but they were finally eradicated 20 years ago.
 
The photo of the bird of prey is of an African harrier-hawk or Gymnogene (Polyboroides typus). This is a bird of prey which can hang upside down from tree branches to get access to birds’ nests in holes in a tree. Its face turns red when it is excited and about to get a meal!
 
 
6 hours ago, pault said:

The rodents are coypu or nutria. Every animal on the map except the buffalo elephant and cow you should be able to offroad for the larger predators.

 

You are very cool about your first kill! Only 5 minutes to wait too, nice photos of the lion before the "fuzz" hit. Do you know why you went so far from the camp on an evening drive?

 

@pault... The first kill was over quickly. The mama zebra called for her foal for a long time, while the lioness tried to catch her breath and drag the foal through heavy brush to wherever her cubs were hidden.  It was hard going for her, so eventually we left her to it and had our sundowners. We were close to camp for the evening drive. For those who know the area, it's near the concrete watering troughs.  

 

The rest of post 64 began the next morning. More to come.

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Note to self:  Don't check out other trip reports while writing your own.  I'm a LITTLE jealous of other people's photography skills.  I'm looking at you, @janzin.  :D  I will soldier on, knowing I have some better photos coming up.  

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Posted (edited)

@AmyT your pictures are fine. They are your memory of your trip and that is what we are enjoying hearing about.

 

I cannot be alone in remembering the planning, with all it's high and lows, before you are able to finally get there. and I know there are several members who gave you valuable advice into that planning

 

Seeing your pictures, reading of your experiences and of your pleasure in it all is what we are enjoying.

Edited by wilddog
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aw thanks, but I'm very much enjoying your report and your photos as well! As @wilddog says, its all about the experience, the memories, and your ability to share it with us safari-obsessed folk :)  Many of your photos are great!

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Posted (edited)

After seeing the coypu, we had breakfast in the bush at a lovely marshy area.  It was quiet while we were there, but saw elephants later, where we had been eating.  We visited the chimpanzee sanctuary, which I suppose is great for school groups.  I understand that the lives of the chimpanzees are far superior to the lives they had been living in captivity.... but it felt too much like a zoo for me to be comfortable with it.  Likewise, Baraka is lucky that the previous rhino expired, leaving a need for another rhino to be hand-fed treats. It was indeed thrilling to be able to touch a rhino; just such unfortunate circumstances.

 

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Later in the afternoon, we headed out again, only to be stopped in our tracks.59600d0acdd9e_KY0_8848(3).thumb.JPG.0c602bd7dabd3848c4c91f29cdcd61aa.JPG

 

We were patient and wait for the buffalo and his/her friend to move out of the way.

 

 

Edited by AmyT
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Interesting...I loved the chimpanzee sanctuary. I had done some volunteer work round rhino research at Ol Pejeta and that was one of our trips. I cried through most of it because the horrors many of these chimps (souls) had seen (created by humans) were slowly being erased by their new found "freedom". Was it perfect? By no means, but their lives were sooooooo much better. And also interesting....I chose to not go see the "previous" rhino resident because I thought that was too much like a petting zoo. Kind of ironic :blink:

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We rounded a corner to find these beauties.  (Here, I actually made an adjustment to my camera where they came out so much better! I'm learning!)

 

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This was the moment I truly felt I was on safari. I told our guides that I'd happily stay there all night with mum and her three cubs. The rest of the group concurred and we hung out with them, including during our sundowners.

 

 

 

 

 

 

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@lmonmm  you are right, everyone is different.  This is where I fret that chimpanzees and humans are so close that chimps deserve their dignity. 

 

Incidentally... I had lunch with Maria and another coworker today, and more coworkers came in to the same eatery.  All had been following our trip and were agog (as we still are!) Perhaps I'll be leading follow-up tours someday!

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