Kenya (5) – Tsavo East
At dinner tonight one of the waiters was asking the people at the table next to us about their day. Their answer: ‘We’ve seen lots of elephants and a dung beetle’. Mum and I couldn’t help but laugh as that pretty much summed up our day as well.
We had 3 game drives today, and we focused our efforts on searching for lions and leopard. Our driver had heard a lion roaring during the night, but we found no sign of them today. On the plus side, it was a great day for birds – we saw a number of eagles, some beautifully coloured song birds, and even a secretary bird catching its prey (presumably a snake, though it was eaten so fast, I couldn’t tell).
Over lunch we found time to take a few bird photographs at the camp – much easier than in the park because the birds come so much closer. We also saw a large group of mongoose whilst eating our lunch, I was kicking myself for only having the short lens with me as it would have been a great opportunity for photography.
Twice during the day, in different parts of the park, we saw huge numbers of elephants – the first time maybe 70-80, the second time probably over 100. We also came across a number of lone herds – the elephant population must have suffered a lot due to poaching, but it seems that it is increasing. On a couple of occasions we had to wait for a herd of elephants to cross the road. The second time it happened we had another nervous lady who trumpeted at us, just to make sure we knew who was boss. We had great fun watching a couple small elephants – one of whom was pushing and pulling at the other, apparently to show it which direction they should be traveling in.
Over the last few days the amount of wildlife at the waterhole in camp has been slowly increasing. We’ve been told that this is because the water is coming in, though until now the river has remained dry. During our last drive this afternoon we drove along a road near camp which crosses a river. This morning when we drove across the river bed there was no sign of water. This afternoon it rained quite a bit, and we were taken aback to discover that the river was flowing, and the road had been washed away. It’s amazing how fast things can change here.