Kenya (2) – Tsavo East

We woke up to a cacophony of noise this morning – hornbills, weavers, impala and monkeys all contributing. The rain continued through the night, so the ground was rather wet, perfect for spotting cat tracks, but the weather today was dry and noticeably hotter. After a quick breakfast we were on the road at 7.30 (quite leisurely for a safari!), and yet again, our first sighting was of some giraffe.

It was a good morning drive for herbivores, with plenty of gazelles, oryx, and the remarkable looking genereks, which have ridiculously long necks, almost a la giraffe.

We also spent some time finding a good spot to photograph a herd of elephants. Other highlights of the morning included sparring oryx, a large flock of vulturine guinea fowl, and a couple young zebra. Back at the camp we spent a little time photographing the resident vervet monkeys before settling down under the trees for a buffet lunch.

We had a short game drive in the afternoon, following a lead for the elusive leopard. After a couple hours scanning every tree, he remained elusive! One thing that was striking this afternoon was how green the area was, it’s still the rainy season here, and the park doesn’t have the parched look that you expect from Africa. On our way back to camp we saw a good sized herd of elephants with some young calves, near the road. Unfortunately they took one look at us and walked away.

As we entered camp we happened upon a couple hippos, but it was hard to get a good view as it had already gone dark. It’s strange to have nightfall at 6.30 when you you’ve become used to our long spring days. Back at the camp and time for yet another big meal. The food here has been very good, not to mention plenteous. Our only disappointment is that the menu is geared to Western tastes, and we were hoping to experience some real Kenyan cooking. As in India, the service here is exemplary – as soon as a plate or glass is empty, there is someone ready to remove it and offer you something else. Rather overwhelming when people are at your beck and call every minute. We have an early drive planned tomorrow, meeting our driver Peter at 6am… time for bed.

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