114 posts in this topic

@pault - that was an amazing segment there ......

 

Have you stayed at the river before at any of the camps there?  If so, how was your experience.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

@Zarek Cockar  "It was an adventure"  Yes. and we are no worse for that - although probably not something to shoehorn into a two day itinerary, which I hope would be trhe lesson learned, rather than not to have some adventures! :)

1 person likes this

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

@madaboutcheetah  Not since 2006 I am afraid!! And where we stayed was washed away by floods - I wouldn't have really recommended it anyway.

1 person likes this

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I just checked my thesaurus @pault.

Apparently 'wild dog magnet' and ' jammy bastard' are synonyms.

1 person likes this

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

It's the magic Bibi touch @Soukous 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Wild Dog and Striped Hyena!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Excellent sightings on the day you just posted, @pault  I normally don't get bothered much over wild dogs, but your first shot had me sitting up and taking notice.  Wow.

1 person likes this

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
25 minutes ago, amybatt said:

I normally don't get bothered much over wild dogs,

 

Are you serious @amybatt ?

3 people like this

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
15 minutes ago, Soukous said:

 

Are you serious @amybatt ?

 

Yes, I am.  I just don't understand the excitement around them, but I've only ever seen them in zoos passed out cold.

2 people like this

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

@pault - Striped Hyena in Buffalo Springs?     You lucky dog!
 

Also very cool sightings of the Grevy's mega-herd and the Wild Dogs.

 

Perhaps Bibi could set up a business hiring herself out as a good luck charm to safari-goers.

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
5 hours ago, offshorebirder said:

@pault - Striped Hyena in Buffalo Springs?     You lucky dog!
 

Also very cool sightings of the Grevy's mega-herd and the Wild Dogs.

 

Perhaps Bibi could set up a business hiring herself out as a good luck charm to safari-goers.

 

 

It could work.., I bet there is a market

Bibi's Wildlife Adventure Tours

Experience the incredible, with lots of tea and naps

 

5 people like this

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
11 hours ago, amybatt said:

 

Yes, I am.  I just don't understand the excitement around them, but I've only ever seen them in zoos passed out cold.

 

Well, although I never felt this way, I think my wife did (to some extent - at least relative to me). She has very much come around now. 

1 person likes this

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Well we couldn’t really top the morning and we didn’t try. Mum decided she was a bit tired and preferred a swim, a nap and some tea with a nice book and the lovely view, and for us two the last game drive was a gentle potter around Kalama Conservancy with Lepayon and James. We sighted a few of the usual suspects and made a few offbeat detours in case something interesting might fall into our lap again (it didn’t, although I was allowed to have fun chasing a non-poisonous snake for a picture) but we were happy with what we had seen and 5 nights in Olare Motorogi and the Mara were waiting so we were not unduly stressed. Accepting whatever Samburu had to offer us had worked very well this far.

 

i-PgbskV8-XL.jpg

 

i-2RzGmkn-XL.jpg

 

i-MHhLJG3-XL.jpg

 

We set up for sundowners relatively early and chatted with the guys and just relaxed and enjoyed ourselves a bit. Of course I was fiddling with my camera gear, but that is a kind of relaxation too I think!

Lepayon and James had been very good with us and on the basis of our experience can be recommended without hesitation. At Kicheche Nelson asked us who our guides had been at Saruni as he had spent time up there sharing experiences or something. We told him James and errr….. trying to remember Lepayon. “Ah James” he said. “Yes and Lep –an-yan or err.. damn.” I told him. “Yes Lepayon. James. They are the same.” I was going to tell him they were not the same person, thinking he was mixed up, but then realized what he meant – in his Maasai way he was saying James and Lepayon are like telepathic twins. And he was right. Although it is nonsense, you feel somehow that if James were to fall sick, Lepayon would surely rapidly decline in health too.

 

All aboard!! Choo choo!

i-Cwfc7Qz-XL.jpg

 

The last sundown

i-DRsH5Bf-XL.jpg

 

That evening I was determined to finally get my star shots. I had things worked out very well – a perfect position where a kopje would block out most of the (minor) light pollution from the British Army camp. So I took my gear up to dinner, intending to set up afterwards. I had decided I would strictly limit my alcohol intake to a single glass of wine for obvious reasons – out on a kopje in pitch darkness with my equipment – plus the need to plan and calculate carefully. But everybody was in such a good mood and there was some nice conversation at dinner for once, and one became “all right just one more” and I guess I might have ended up having four or five, but it was difficult to tell as the glass kept on topping itself up.

I wouldn’t give up though and set out to take my shots, closely watched by a concerned askari. The first two shots came out quite nicely but it was really cold out and so I went back to shelter for a minute and maybe my wife had another glass of wine waiting for me there. When I came out again the whole thing had become much, much more complicated, and I kept on having “ideas” which usually involved messing the shots up. Plus for some reason the stars seemed to be moving faster than before and I couldn’t stop them. It was also getting more and more difficult to set focus at infinity for some reason.

 

So all I have to show for my efforts is this. There was supposed to be a third shot to the left, but it was either forgotten or came out so badly I deleted it there and then in camera.

 

i-4dq2dB4-XL.jpg

 

Next day we got up a bit late and had breakfast in camp. We then drove on the “main road” to the Kalama airstrip so saw as many people as wildlife (skittish dik-diks and ground squirrels excluded), although we stopped for a couple of shots of rocks and trees. We were in plenty of time for our flight, and in fact it was delayed by 30 minutes, giving Bibi a chance to do her morning exercises.

i-TVwtdrx-XL.jpg

 

And check out the airport shopping

i-kpcMZqs-XL.jpg

 

However, when the plane did arrive it was with very good news – there was plenty of room on board and we would be flying direct to Olare Motorogi with no stops at all. And the pilot (an African woman) had the most beautiful smile in the world, shining from deep behind the eyes.

 

Over the hills and bye bye to Samburuland.

i-rFzcpjx-XL.jpg

 

Some additional bits and pieces.

It’s very important to keep in mind just how dry it was when looking at what we experienced. Remember the first time we had seen water (other than the foot in the hollow in that rock that Ian took us to and the swimming pools at Saruni) was in Buffalo Springs. Wildlife had to come down to the river to get water – there were few alternatives. Some wildlife has undoubtedly died. Some has been killed due to conflict or just to "stick it to the Man". Grazing was going on in areas it normally would not have been. Another time – a “normal” time if such a thing exists – there would have been more wildlife in Kalama and away from the river. There would probably have been more wildlife in the area altogether. There would have been animals around Sabache. The waterhole at Saruni would have been full and visited daily by a wide assortment of animals. Dipa might not have been quite so busy. The singing wells would have been only a few feet deep. Everything could have been different.

Saruni serves really good food. It is staffed almost completely by Samburu, right up to Assistant Manager (who was acting manager during our stay) level. Sabache was completely Samburu. The Samburu may sometimes appreat to be a people from another planet, even from the perspective of a lot of Kenyans. That is the way I think when a culture is so strong and so emphatically entwined with personal identity. The level of service that the Saruni management has managed to get their staff to provide is amazing to me. Regretably it is also a bit pointless to me too as I don’t really want that level of service – a faux pas with the cutlery or wine or a too slow removal of used towels at the pool won’t lose you my custom – but its impressive. They have their own (very good) reasons for taking this path too and I hope they continue to succeed and grow. The rhino tracking on foot and singing wells experiences available at their new camp in nearby Sera Conservancy should appeal to the market they are aiming at... and a lot of other people too.

This is fantastic, magical country. A very special place in Africa. The dust and heat and miles of scrib will drain you but the landscapes, people and wildlife will fill you with joy.

Most importantly, no Bibi has been harmed in the making of this trip report. She may have been exhausted sometimes and she may not be quite the force she was at 74 but she ahd a good time and everybody everywhere did all they could reasonably be expected to do to make that happen for her.

 

And if you think that it's on to a "boring" wind down in Olare Motorogi now, you haven't taken into account the Bibi effect!

13 people like this

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I can't believe your luck. Great not pleased Bibi photo. Glad the Mara part won't be boring. That's when I usually start to nod off ;)

1 person likes this

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!


Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.


Sign In Now

  • Recently Browsing   0 members

    No registered users viewing this page.


© 2006 - 2017 www.safaritalk.net - Talking Safaris and African Wildlife Conservation since 2006. Passionate about Africa.