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COSMIC RHINO

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

79 posts in this topic

Orynx are  unusual elsewhere ,relatively common at Lewa

 

many years  ago I read about a ranch in the Tsavo  area which unsuccessfully tried to raise them for their milk

 

perhaps  Nairobi is  not the place for niche food items, London, New York, San Francisco  ---- trendy deli café towns would be better

 

I enjoyed joking with Norman my guide about this

 

then there is the issue of getting milk from someone with sharp horns 

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the elephants bathing in mud was a  absolute delight

 

we went to an area  with better acacia bushes  to see giraffe , had breakfast , then continued on

 

we just happen to come across this small elephant family  who were very keen on things

 

they went into a muddy hole  and fully covered themselves in it , moved side to side , put their heads under it , came out  and dived into it

 

this continued for about 20 minutes   and just before  they  left they dipped their trunks in mud , pulled it out , then sprayed their backs and sides with the  mud

 

it was reasonably warm , the mud was already starting to dry as they began walking away 

 

all done in the cause of insect control  and  protecting the skin against sun damage 

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the difference in the color of giraffes ,they are all reticulated  is amazing

 

some are really dark ,others mid brown 

 

giraffes get darker as they age

 

they all basically eat the same plants and end up very different looking

 

I have always found Lewa a good place for elephants , how many you see varies as they move around 

 

they enjoy the better security environment of the reserve

 

there were a number of leading matriarch females  with Save the Elephants  GPS radio tracking colars  in the reserve  

 

this is a device used for both security and research

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Posted (edited)

I am happy to convert + post these photos for @COSMIC RHINO - that way I too get to enjoy them!

 

More Elephant mud bath photos from Lewa:

 

Elephants_mudbath_Lewa7.thumb.jpg.27317c11e293f108cf99294e5d1e73e9.jpg
 

Elephants_mudbath_Lewa1.thumb.jpg.1ac2e46ecbcd3684e1241fa2fe9e7937.jpg

 

Elephants_mudbath_Lewa2.thumb.jpg.ce6b09d6ad4b95250416b59ef2a8443d.jpg

 

Elephants_mudbath_Lewa3.jpg.80abb78b83b12fa6e5fae23c03baafc7.jpg

 

 

In this one, the similarity in color of the elephants' skin and mud makes it difficult to tell where one elephant begins and one elephant ends.  The effect is sort of an "elephant push-me-pull-you"   

 

Elephants_mudbath_Lewa4.jpg.1aa4762df6e319bd7dd67e1c948c5065.jpg

 

Elephants_mudbath_Lewa5.thumb.jpg.09efdb0a0f78d4c1b52ba01b6053dfd2.jpg

 

Elephant_calves_mudbath_Lewa.jpg.bb5aced478216d5ec78d07ff2dd38f6a.jpg

Edited by offshorebirder
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Here are some more White Rhino + Reticulated Giraffe photos:

 

White_Rhinos_ReticulatedGiraffe_Lewa1.thumb.jpg.4bc26d4b295f203eb9d0ea659387ecb4.jpg

 

White_Rhinos_ReticulatedGiraffe_Lewa2.jpg.fd6e2450a66af83e7823d919b0cdf2f0.jpg

 

Rhino_ReticulatedGiraffe_Lewa1.thumb.jpg.39648c50bc1f6346c4b027b1bb73bb7b.jpg

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In this photo, the White Rhinos are being followed by attendants - two Cattle Egrets and what look like a pair of Lilac-breasted Rollers.

 

White_Rhino_attendants_Lewa.thumb.jpg.2d5589f6895c6772c8f8b2e7e13eec7f.jpg

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Posted (edited)

This White Rhino photo must have been taken from very close:

 

White_Rhinos_Lewa3.thumb.jpg.5a258214c9ac1f2d2d4ababe17681ca4.jpg

 

@COSMIC RHINO is privileged to have spent so much time with Rhino mothers and calves.

 

White_Rhino_mother_calf_Lewa2.jpg.b6c38659134b6ba8dd2e5e107b32d772.jpg

 

White_Rhinos_Lewa1.thumb.jpg.3a52371e6c891ef401faf4b3aaf2de87.jpg
 

White_Rhino_mother_calf_Lewa2.jpg.65c5d20e8c30ed734b747a6e92c5d479.jpg

 

White_Rhino_mother_calf_Lewa1.thumb.jpg.49af114a5c2e78ec4493174d2ed72d8c.jpg

Edited by offshorebirder
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rhinos at Lewa   can be approached at varying distances

 

generally it is easier to get closer to white rhinos than black

 

sometimes they are in areas  where no of track driving is allowed

 

it is not exactly unusual to see a rhino walking down the track

 

the way  they come over is influenced by me using a Nikon P520 camera which has a 24 to 1000 optical zoom lens

 

the family group amongst the termite mound  were close to the track , one of my best rhino sitings of the trip and  one of a number on the same morning

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white rhinos can move around a fair bit in a circular motion

 

they move closer and further away from you ,at some times very close

 

at  times I move  around within the vehicle to get a better view

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"Note the tiny trunk sticking up out of the mud hole in the last photo."  Thanks. Woulda' missed it.

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Here are some more photos - sorry for the delay in posting them @COSMIC RHINO.     I am preparing to evacuate tomorrow ahead of Hurricane Irma so I've been rather busy.

 

White_Rhino_mother-calf_Lewa3.thumb.jpg.4806c5afb5f1fdfd99220c946833fc45.jpg

 

White_Rhino_mother-calf_Lewa4.thumb.jpg.f5e1f3e7010f3a87c4e5962e7e861ce1.jpg

 

White_Rhino_Lewa1.thumb.jpg.b03e4fc05178b38d902d30aa6b6c7990.jpg

 

Lewa_White_Rhinos2.thumb.jpg.78e334afd666397f6f9c047074267bbb.jpg

 

White_Rhino_mother-calf_Lewa1.thumb.jpg.578aedaaa89129186b1c80afa26b9d5b.jpg

 

White_Rhino_mother-calf_Lewa2.thumb.jpg.e2da016f1fc7907a1de6c311121ed163.jpg

 

Lewa_White_Rhinos1.thumb.jpg.f5b096ac4a147fcc49ba17372608b54b.jpg

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Posted (edited)

Rhinos and Reticulated, a fine combo.  Eles and mud, a typical combo.  They sure enjoy their mud spas!

 

Sorry if I missed it, but how many rhinos do you think you saw at Lewa?

 

Would you consider seeking out the Indian Rhino?

Edited by Atravelynn
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Posted (edited)

above  are only 2 sets of rhinos  ,it shows how things look according to the lighting 

 

the larger male  with a lot of thick dried mud is the one  who I have described as the crooner  , who was looking for love with 2 separate females who each had calves, both walked away

 

RHINOS  IN LEWA 

 

I saw a whole lot of them , I delight in them, they are my sacred  totem animal

 

some good mornings I would see  more rhinos than others would see over several days in other area

 

the  approach was to spend  a good amount of time with a good siting

 

The security was good  but I did not count the total number of rhinos seen  , I counted the sitings not to be  posted here , I don't want  to compromise in any way the good Lewa  security

 

I have photos which I am not sending of to be posted by a Safaritalk friend as  I have security concerns for those ones

 

Facebook has become a poachers animal location aid , I don't want to let anything done here to have the same  impact

 

INDIAN  RHINOS 

 

Well  I have  priced Kazaringa online  and it with the single supplement in not at all cheap

 

An Indian visitor  on the Ashtons shuttle to Kruger in 2016 told me that  the airport is hours away, the shuttle firms are unreliable and the drivers are mad in their performance

 

rhinos in thick grass might not be easy to see

 

 

Edited by COSMIC RHINO
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at Lewa  the animals come first 

 

it is a great place for anyone who loves rhinos as I do

 

I have easily got used to this place and delight in it , even seeing some new areas this year 

 

I am constantly alert getting close to life the way it should be

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Posted (edited)

I always  find Lewa Safari Camp a relaxed , comfortable  place to stay

 

all the staff and other  guests are friendly 

 

all the guides I have had a superb

 

they are constantly on the lookout for animals and great at answering questions

 

they are always  patient and unhurried

 

the aim on the game drive is always to good look at things and get back to camp as late  as  possible 

 

Lewa  is such a great place to be uncrowded , and the approach of the animals is to stay ,they don't  run away as I have seen elsewhere

Edited by COSMIC RHINO
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Posted (edited)

Lewa  is a delightfully uncrowded place  

 

life does not get any better than this 

 

I seldom saw another vehicle other than when people were getting to leave camp  for the drive

 

the eles in mud were a solo experience of delight

 

they know who I am there for  , I was eventually show a leopard but that was when it was getting dark  after other groups had been by 

 

why waste rhino viewing time  when leopards can be more easily seen elsewhere

 

if you want to get the most of  places  know them 

 

people go for different reasons some for comfort or other reasons , I am there for wildlife and environmental  in depth

Edited by COSMIC RHINO
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as mentioned before the reserve is  a mix of black cotton and red ochre soils 

 

that becomes interesting if it has been raining , one of the afternoon drives was a bit after it had rained

 

well it was a bit slippery, the guide told me that black cotton soil has a whole lot of sand in it

 

I later read that it is made solely of sand,silt and clay

 

 

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Posted (edited)

the other guests were friendly and interesting

 

an American  couple  had their  young son actually use the swimming pool

 

putting my hand in the water it felt ok  but no one else swam in my 7 days there

Edited by COSMIC RHINO

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as is usual there are a whole lot of people there looking for cats who have no idea that this is really rhinoland

 

one of them actually  asked me if I had seen many after I  explain why they were not many around and that  my main interest was rhinos 

 

another lot on an art tour , as I commented before  many take don't investigate wildlife that much, it is kind of like you are going to art galleries your main interest is old master and somehow you end up at the museum of modern art

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@COSMIC RHINO On the subject of Kaziranga you're not wrong about the price or some Indian drivers, and from Guwahati Airport it is maybe 5 hours drive to get there and you first need to fly to Guwahati from Kolkatta or Dehli or wherever. Having said that when I visited in 07 I saw more rhinos than I have ever seen anywhere before or since and not just in total over the 4 days that I was there, but also at one time. In the park they have towers at some of the ranger posts and from one of these towers I counted over 20 different rhinos. There is a lot of long grass but there was also a good deal of short grass and I saw plenty of rhinos and very well just on normal game drives, as well as some of your rhinos in this report, seeing them wasn't a problem at all. I also saw them up close on elephant back safaris and if you're happy to do this it's a good way to see the wildlife. My experience and I assume that of others here who've been, is that you are guaranteed to see rhinos, you should see wild elephants as well, if you can work out an affordable way for you to do it, I would strongly recommend going to Kaziranga, I wouldn't be put off by the long drive.

 

Nice to see lots of reticulated giraffes, Lewa must I assume be an important stronghold for this endangered species.

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Posted (edited)

I have not ruled out Kazaringa  totally but I  find Lewa  such an ideal  option for rhinos  and a great bush experience

 

it is possible to really close to them

 

the access  to Lewa is really easy and Lewa safari camp is a great place to stay , the guides are very happy to have someone  who wants to look at rhinos, elephants, Grevy's zebras  and reticulated giraffe in depth 

 

I have already rebooked Lewa for next year 

 

I find the whole ethos of the place very positive  the tour operator easily merges into the reserve with an emphasis  on wildlife ,land and vital community support

 

I talk to them about their overall  experience they get people who treat the place as a typical big 5 reserve, want to rush around the place and go back early to camp for the upscale comfort on offer 

 

my aim is to be out of camp amongst the animals and bush for as long as possible, it is relatively easy to miss the sundowner

Edited by COSMIC RHINO
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Posted (edited)

Going around observing rhinos  is what I love to do here , it is a peak life experience

 

They have such a majesty to them

 

being  in an area  where the human role is managers and guardians  feels great 

 

there are not masses of animals in the reserve, the carrying  capacity of the land was estimated  by researchers from the university of Pretoria

 

the emphasis is on rhinos, Grevy's  zebras , elephants and reticulated  giraffe

 

there are regular  game counts ,from time to time the other animals are  move out to nth rangelands trust reserves

Edited by COSMIC RHINO
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the creature comforts at safari camp  are more than sufficient  , they  are  high level luxury  without going to the extremes of  elaborate rugs, claw  baths and personal  butlers which some places offer

 

the place is more than ok for anyone who wants to life it out , the food is great and the dining room is elegant  

 

the way things are to generate  the necessary financial contribution to keep the reserve going ,the minimum standard which most people would want is very high

 

well  I am not here  for the camp, it is my base to get out into the sacred bush with totemic carasmatic  mega fauna ,and return as late as possible

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My days have a regular pattern maximum time on 2 gamedrives  looking at animals and the land

 

camera  always at the ready lens regulary  and carefully cleaned

 

to horrify all the photographers here, someone in camp  told me he often cleaned his lens  with a blower brush followed by circular motions from his t shirt , not a special  fibre cloth

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Just back from visiting 5 Porini camps and have yet to finish looking through the pictures, just to let you know that we saw 16 rhino in our day at Nairobi tented within the national park and exceeded that at Porini Rhino. Will be starting the report soon.

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