Camping in the middle of the African wilderness is just a little bit different than campin in Central PA. In PA you don't really have to wonder if maybe hippos will come out of the nearby stream during the night and trample your tent or any other number of wildlife strolling through and snooping around your camp. Our camp sight had an abundance of baboons and monkeys nearby and they certainly made their presence known during the night. There were multiple times where they seemed to be a little upset with each other and there was a chorus of screams and shouts which didn't exactly make for great sleeping.
We got an early start on Thursday, 5 am, with hopes of catching some lions and other night time critters before they disappeared for the day, but we were largely unsuccessful. Since we just came through the rainy season the vegetation was quite tall which made it very difficult to see very far or spot smaller animals. There could have been lions 10 yards from our vehicle and we had no chance of seeing them. We drove to the Tana River but got there a little to early to see crocodiles sunning themselves on the banks of the river. We returned to camp and had breakfast and then relaxed for the afternoon. We headed back out around 4 and made our way to the rhino sanctuary with high hopes of seeing rhino but ended up not seeing any. We continued to drive around and we still got to see a number of animals including water buffalo, wart hogs, and many more elephants, zebra, antelope, giraffe, and other animals but once again no lions. After polishing another wonderful supper we went to bed early again in order to be well rested for an early start. Thankfully it seemed as if the baboons and monkeys had resolved their dispute from the night before because it was a fairly quiet night. The campsite host said that he had heard lions roaring near the camp during the night, but I must have been sleeping too soundly to hear anything.
Friday morning was another early start and we ventured out for one last chance at seeing lions and once again they eluded us and we didn't see one. Thankfully there were still other animals including our first ostrich sighting. We arrived back at camp, ate breakfast and broke camp and made our way out of the park back towards Nairobi. It felt so good to get out of the city for a few days and see God's amazing creation, but as we got closer to Nairobi I actually got excited to be back in this crazy city. For the first time it felt like I was going "home" and it was nice to get back to the friendly confines of the guest house.
I'm off on another safari trip on Tuesday, this time with my brother Chad. He arrives on Monday morning and then we are off to Kenya's most famous park, the Masai Mara. I have great hopes of seeing many more animals including lions for sure.
Happy New Year to everyone and I hope you all have a safe and joyous start to 2012!
|Of course you have to take a sign with the Equator sign when you pass by it.|
|Naked Mole Rat|
|What an amazing creature to see in the wild.|
|There were about 6 hippos here at this pool, but it was hard to get good pictures of them in the water.|
|The crocodile infested Tana River.|
|Beautiful African sunset.|
|My friends Dave and Caroline.|
|Our safari vehicle, Dave's Toyota Hillux.|
|On our way out of the park we ran into a family of Ostrich.|