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COSMIC RHINO

Lewa conservancy and safari camp a place of the heart and soul

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Posted (edited)

Here is a photo  already posted under birds in flight, page 11

 

 

COSMIC RHINO  asked me to post this photo of Oxpeckers taking flight from a Rhino he saw during a 2017 visit to Lewa Wildlife Conservancy in Kenya.   It is a PDF scan of a photo I converted to JPEG for posting to Safaitalk.

 

Click to see a larger version.

 

 

 

Rhino_Oxpecker_Lewa-2017.jpg

Edited June 28 by offshorebirder

 

 

 

Lewa   is consistently superb , this visit no less than my others every year since 2012

 

I had seen rhinos with Grevy's  zebras before , but they were not good sitings 

 

the above picture was on my final  morning game drive leaving  630 am with the picnic  box 

 

this trip I saw Grevy's  with rhinos together 5 times , rhinos mud wallowing 5 times,  has a good siting of rhinos with reticulated giraffe,  many great rhino sitings , elephants ,Grevy's and other animals

 

another highlight was seeing twice a baby rhino suckling with mother  and a close look of a small elephant family mud wallowing

Edited by COSMIC RHINO
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Very nice :)

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Once again... 

Why is this posted in Trip reports? 

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7 hours ago, Antee said:

Once again... 

Why is this posted in Trip reports? 

 

Because he is starting a new trip report @Antee and that was his first post!

 

I will be posting some photos momentarily that  @COSMIC RHINO sent me to convert.

 

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Posted (edited)

White Rhinos including mother and calf

 

Lewa_Rhinos1.jpg

 

 

White Rhino mother and calf

 

Lewa_Rhinos_mother-calf1.jpg

 

 

White Rhino mother and calf

 

Lewa_Rhinos_mother-calf2.jpg

Edited by offshorebirder
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Posted (edited)

Here are some photos of White Rhinos and Grevy's Zebras sharing a waterhole.

 

 

Lewa_Rhinos_mudbath_Grevys1.jpg

 

 

What a magnificent horn she has!

 

Lewa_Rhinos_mudbath_Grevys2.jpg

 

Lewa_Rhino_Grevys1.jpg

Edited by offshorebirder
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It's not every day you see a White Rhino nursing!

 

 

Lewa_Rhinos_mother-calf_nursing1.jpg

Lewa_Rhinos_mother-calf_nursing2.jpg

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Posted (edited)

White Rhino mother and calf

 

 

Lewa_Rhinos_mother-calf4.jpg

 

 

Lewa_Rhinos_mother-calf3.jpg

Edited by offshorebirder
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White Rhino framed by Grevy's Zebras

 

 

Lewa_Rhino_Grevys2.jpg

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FLIGHTS 

 

well there was a bit of confusion with arrivals at JKIA

 

My ticket was marked to arrive at terminal 1B , after collecting my bag and clearing customs I  was at 1A

 

well there were a whole lot of passengers without the correct transfer vehicle, and people waiting to collect passengers who were not there 

 

quiet a few people went to get a taxi , I waited longer , then took a taxi

 

turns out that sth African airlines had advised them to go to 1E

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I normally don't travel with a phone  ,perhaps it might be worth taking for things like this

 

with security concerns  the metal detectors at Safarilink have been set so low that the foil for my quell tablets showed up

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Posted (edited)

I only had a problem once with the movements in the light plane ,ever since the combination of sea bands and quells has worked well

 

I got out of the plane put my bag in the marked vehicle , went to use the bathroom , then  got in the vehicle on the "wrong side"

 

I just grabbed the support poles for the canopy and raised myself up to a passenger seat

 

without realising it , I had used the side without any steps and had no problem doing so

 

rhinos are a the basic reason why a cattle farm was converted into a wildlife conservancy 

 

I have found that all the guides I have had are great in finding them , all the guides are wonderful 

 

I have been given Norman  their specialist cat guide , the week was great for rhinos and my other special friends and almost no cats 

 

the drive to camp began , the reserve is in great  condition

 

it was great to see relatively close up and in much detail than before ,and for a much longer time 2 young male Grevy's zebras  having a practice fight , the rituals of trying to gain dominance and a breeding territory.

 

the  grass and other plants are in a great condition ,there are a whole lot of wildflowers within the grass.

 

it has rained from time to time , the reserve is large , so the rain has been uneven ,it has been good around camp

 

I have previously  visited in June , it is now May and noticeably warmer

 

overall it was one of my best visits for rhinos ,perhaps they move around less when it is cool

 

the standard package has changed so that it includes  most drinks , I stick to filtered water and tea

 

the water bottles which everyone is supplied with are fancier  including a pop up drinking straw , they are given out to avoid having a whole lot of plastic bottles to deal with

 

 

Edited by COSMIC RHINO
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one of the local characters is no more 

 

Bahati a full grown female ostrich  who was seen around  the reserve , and sometimes in the camp was taken out by a lion

 

Guides from Borana  reserve reported that she wandered their way and was killed, then eaten by lions

 

the 2 reserves remain separate but they are now joined 

 

guides often see each other as their guests arrive at the Lewa airstrip then get driven to a Borana camp

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@COSMIC RHINO i think i must have missed it, but could you remind when in May this year you were in Lewa? 

 

that first picture was great - those buffaloes sitting so relaxed  while the rhinos were right behind them. was it usual to see them together so close and comfortable with each other? with the zebras behind these two species, and the bird zipping between them, the photo was a great capture.

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I was at Lewa from may 22 to 29 2017

 

I am always observing ,often taking photos

 

rhinos and buffalos can get close, but not often that calm

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Posted (edited)

  • white rhinos framed by Grevys was taken at high end zoom , still a very good picture
  • I tend to stay on a good siting , I am in no hurry , it is a matter of sticking around a see what happens
  • Lewa  is very much for me a matter of heart and soul, a reserve driven by wildlife and biodiversity outcomes , including the community in this , well it is not going to work without them
  • the reserve was set up first  and a few tourists added later to help pay the bills
  • there has never  been hunting here ,this reflects on how approachable to animals are in a vehicle ,even sometimes on foot , at a picnic breakfast I walked up to within a few meters of plains zebras , and they just continued doing their thing
  • the reserves carrying capacity has been scientifically estimated ,animals are translocated out from time to time
  • the healthy state of the grass indicates that it was not an over grazed place when it was a cattle farm
  • the rain has been unevenly distributed ,there has been nearly no rain at the area called main dam since NOV 2016,the water level is shown in the waterhole photos of rhino and Grevy's zebras 
  • the hippos have moved 15 km from there to a waterhole with a  good ongoing  water level
  • I have a whole lot more photos printed , which I will be sending in PDF scan for offshorebirder to post , but I am deliberately sending them in small batches ,so there is not too  much to   do  at one time
  • sorry that the trip report has been a bit slow coming, but I am trying to also keep up with wildlife conservation, trade and great extinction news also, things are not going well
Edited by COSMIC RHINO
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Posted (edited)

I successfully managed  to only have one sundowner  during my entire visit, nature calls not a silly drinks break in a reserve which does not allow night driving

 

the first afternoon game drive did not go very far  and was very good 

 

everyone was in a close distance and easy to observe 

 

there was a white rhino around , then I wondered  is that some small termite mounds or something else

 

well it turns out to be 2 white rhinos . they proceeded into a mud wallow , which was  wonderful  to observe  observe  close up  for a good period of time, they then rubbed of the mud on the branch of a tree

 

then an elephant herd , who were ok , then the adolescent males chased of some ostriches , then a group of white rhinos

 

we  were patient and looking out for what was going to happen

 

then a reticulated gifaffe mother and calf

Edited by COSMIC RHINO
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Here are some photos of the young Grevy's Zebra stallions fighting.

 

Grevys_stallions_fighting1.jpg.bb0e611dc159bbb6288eafd95eef3b31.jpg

 

Grevys_stallions_fighting2.jpg.5c8f6bcabf546f0f1804818756ee1bc1.jpg

 

Grevys_stallions_fighting3.jpg.c55458e88990faf1cd55b79f47cc74f6.jpg

 

Grevys_stallions_fighting4.jpg.6bc0dc2f5c31589a13e174d48588552f.jpg

 

 

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Here are some White Rhino photos.

 

3White_Rhinos_grazing_Lewa.thumb.jpg.5b0f8874647a95ae05cc480fd076a0a7.jpg

 

White_Rhinos_Grevys_waterhole_Lewa.thumb.jpg.3b926a555fa04d21ea84d935f3051f6f.jpg

 

White_Rhino_mother_calf1.jpg.91d25112b9e4cf0ff412705565f6998c.jpg

 

White_Rhino_calf1.jpg.299b4529dabee2a6516e350a55e019c3.jpg

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Posted (edited)

Here is @COSMIC RHINO sitting on what looks like a Rhino rubbing post.  His notion of paradise, I imagine.

 

Cosmic_Rhino_sitting_scratchingpost.jpg.099137d487f042188d08163568ae4a92.jpg

Edited by offshorebirder
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Posted (edited)

Here are some more Grevy's Zebra photos that @COSMIC RHINO took.  

 

Grevy's and a Kori Bustard.

 

Grevys_KoriBustard_Lewa.jpg.b1156fde922c2534cb42cf1b69856bf2.jpg

 

Grevy's foal nursing

Grevys_Zebra_foal_nursing.jpg.a844a8b96ade5499456ea2571828897e.jpg

 

Grevy's mare and foal at a waterhole

Grevys_Zebra_mare_and_foal_waterhole.jpg.fb7aaa6b3c1307a212851cd4bdb423df.jpg

 

foal scratching

Grevys_Zebra_foal_scratching.jpg.461c838ab8a350f20117d32143208e87.jpg

 

Grevys_Zebra_waterhole.jpg.df340b045371b35b5ec19036babfffe9.jpg

 

sloshing in a muddy waterhole

Grevys_Zebras_muddy_waterhole.jpg.1971a3c39a06494f766ec0f3e8858b86.jpg

Edited by offshorebirder
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Here is a Plains Zebra mother and foal

 

Plains_Zebra_mare_and_foal.thumb.jpg.fcdbfe996368193d34d8c383fc54de43.jpg

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I was sitting on a lovely barkless tree ,no mention was made of a rubbing post

 

a option which the camp was offering was the 9AM game drive after breakfast , everyone opted for leaving 0630  with the picnic box

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on every drive at Lewa I saw rhinos 

 

on every drive except  the initial drive from the airstrip to camp , elephants ,reticulated giraffe and Grevy's zebras were also present

 

at camp you get a wake up call  at 6 am with a drink and snack , I go for fruit juice and fruit, usually small bananas ,sometimes apple slice 

 

others go for tea ,coffee with cookies

 

I am up already courtesy of an alarm clock and a multi hour electronic kitchen timer  

 

the camp  continues with its policy of predominately allocating a vehicle to a single visitor or booking without added charge

 

on the morning drive on day one Norman  suggested going to an area where cheetahs had been recently seen.

 

well the cheetahs were not around  , but there were rhinos , both types of zebras  and giraffe  at a waterhole , you will see the pictures above

 

we stayed  in the vehicle with the picnic box open  as it was less threatening to the animals 

 

it was simply wonderful  and great to see  rhinos and giraffe closeup together

 

at times all rhinos need to get a good mud coating , is a  good area of exposed earth at the side of a waterhole
 

this is one of the best breakfast I have ever had , it is up with the 12 noon start in 2012 delayed by observing a group of rhinos for 3 hours

 

I went for the animals and the bush, minor setbacks don't matter that much

 

at breakfast I had a tamarillo, a small vegetable I have had at the camp's picnic breakfasts before without a problem

 

well this one tasted a bit odd , not wishing to waste anything , I had more of it  but could  only take so much of it

 

it made me feel a bit quesy , the  game drive continued

 

things did not get any better after lunch, I dealt with it , laid down for a while loosed my trouser belt and put the torch in a carry bag.

 

I went  out on a great  afternoon drive  including a lovely white rhino with calf, a white rhino  with calf and Grevy's zebra

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Tremendous capture of the zebras grappling with each other!

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