There was quite a big herd, and a number of young elephants. I assume this one was the bull of the herd - he certainly watched us for quite some time, even after the rest of the herd had crossed the track into the bush, he remained where he is the photo. And that red dust!
Ten minutes into the park and we've already been spotted. But who'se watching who? These guys we had to ourselves - one problem on safari can be the 'traffic jam of safari jeeps', especially early on in the trip as so many arrive at approximately the same time and there's only one road in. Our guide, bless him, lost the crowds and went off on a side track - and bingo!
Not these guys though! 10 a penny. They seemed to appear virtually every time we stopped. Guide was telling us its because some tourists feed them, mainly bananas and fruit. Animals now know that chances are that food came with the jeeps.
We became completely blase about these guys as we saw them all over the place - sad really, but then we're there for the bigger creatures!
the aggressive: the babboon
What a peaceful creature, at least at first sight: it sat quietly looking at us - with a curious light in his eyes. When his mates ran about we made fun of their bare bottoms - however we did not laugh too long. One of us was filming the babboons that were roaming around our vehicle when this creature spotted a banana in his hands - and then he was peaceful no more. He jumped onto the open roof of our van, grabbed the banana and tried to bit the guy's hand - eventually he hung onto the roof, getting more and more aggressive, not wanting to let us go (more bananas, right?). We took off at full speed and still it took us a while until he let go of the van (bsically he eventually fell off the roof).
the lazybones: the buffalo
The laziest animal of the park that we saw, seemed to be the buffalo. Unlike all the other animals it moved about undisterbed, slowly... watching us pass by in a very bored way. There was a group of about 10 of them - and they kind of stood still, getting about their business - which was limited to drinking and not much else - except the very occasional grazing. Really, they looked slightly unnatural, like statues. Obviously their size made them feel secure - they waited until we left - and in the distance we could still see them - standing still - unmoved
the funny one: the warthog
The warthog looked funny with its two small tusks. We saw a couple of females from the distance, with their cute-looking babies - they were going towards a pool to drink some water. Protective is the way I would call these females: while the little ones were drinking they kept a watchful eye around them - in case some predator would come near. Then when the little ones had finished drinking - they drank themselves, taking turns. Eventually - slowly as they had come - they left among the bushes.
the gracious: the zebra
The animal I found most gracious was the zebra - it has an air of elegance - with its striped "skin"- We saw hundreds of them - always in large herds - and mostly they seemed very friendly and caring - often necking each other. Tey are quite shy, in the sense that as soon as you go too near them they start running away - and their run (gallop?) is very agile. For me it's the true queen of the jungle
the bulky: the elephant
Wonderful elephants: bulky but not clumsy! I really enjoyed seeing them. We came across them about 20 minutes after entering the park: a large-ish herd on our left, and a lone baby on our right. As soon as we stopped the van, the mother of the lone baby started getting protective and defensive: she was ready to charge. However we did not move: her baby crossed the road and joined her - and she simly left with him - possibly scolding him. No harm came from her part: she just wanted to warn us. We liked her protective attitude!
the unexpected: the eagle
An eagle: it's for sure an animal I was not expecting to see in Kenya - and yet - not far from a carcass - there she was: the most perfect and peaceful eagle. She stood there looking at us for a while, before spreading her wings and flying off. She looked as majestic as I had imagined her: proud and powerful. Our was a lucky sight: for years I had longed to see it (especially in Alaska), but she never showed herself... here she graced us with her presence. Thanks, beautiful bird.
the tall one: the giraffe
Of all the animals in the park, it's the giraffe I wanted to see most - and I was lucky: after 10 minutes inside the park it's the first group of animals we spotted. They have 7 neck vertebraes like all other animals but - goodness - they are tall. I loved watching them eating - they way they had to bend down to eat the grass of the bushes and lower trees. Somehow they seemd slightly out of place: so much taller than any tree or animal in sight - but nonetheless I appreciated their beauty and the intricate patterns on their skin.
the stupid: the lioness
"Married" to the lion, the king of the jungle, I was expecting the queen of the jungle to be a majestic animal - an imposing proud one. Nasty surprise: she's stupid! A water pipe is being built inside the park, so in a coule of locations there are pieces of yellow plastic tubes. Where did 8 lionesses decide to go for a nap? In the stupid tubes - rather than in the shade of a tree. They looked silly - a real disappointment. I guess I can never respect them anymore
the shy one: the gazelle
The shyiest animal must be the gazelle: we saw large herds of them repeatedly - actually they were just about everywhere... but as soon as we stopped, off they left - running as fast as they could. To take a decent shot of them proved to be time consuming. However I can see the logic: they are among the weakest animals in the park, and the easist prey to larger meat-eater animals. Their shyness (cleverness!) was very much appreciated - as well as their grace in running
the unimpressive: the guinea fowl
Unexotic and unimpressive - the guinea fowl - which had often landed on my family's dinner plate as "faraona". Basically it's a chicken-like bird that seems to live everywhere: I did not expect to see it in kenya in the wilderness.. but alas - there it was: a picture had to be taken. Still I was far from impressed: it's not exactly the strange wild animal one would expect to see when doing a safari.
ELEPHANTS NEAR THE OUT-HOUSE!!
If your very-lucky like I was. You will have two BIG BULL-ELEPHANTS around the corner of your tents. If you need the out-house, too bad!
Get your camera hide in the shade and blend
in! If the ELEPHANTS take awhile, fine a spot!
I had these guys all to myself! Not even 100
A REALLY MUST NOT SEE!!
When you have a HIPPO in a pool of mud!
With really no water anywhere near that pool
of mud.It's not a good thing to see. Even though he was very big, fat and healthy. He had to be suffering!! TSAVO-EAST is BAKING-HOT!! At this area no shade. Where he came from my driver & guide had no idea! We were
heading out of the park at the BACHUMA GATE. We told the RANGERS there. Don't know what ever came of the HIPPO! But, he
had some company! On the other side of us was: ZEBRA, IMPALA. In the distance behind them: A HUGE BULL ELEPHANT in a water
hole next to a wind mill! I just had a thought!!
Maybe the ELEPHANT pushed the HIPPO
out! Hopefully when the ELEPHANT is done. The Hippo went back to that water hole!
He also, had two beautiful:SECRETARY BIRDS near by!!