Thursday, 29 September 2011

Day 80 – 24.6.2011 - From Tsavo West to Tsavo East – sleeping with a lion at the campsite

We do not expect much not, because the guide refers to the Tsavo East as less accessible, it will be less animals to see, the whole will be bushier. All the more surprised we are when we see directly after the Voi gate, open landscape, populated with - the legendary red elephants of Tsavo elephants. That looks great!

There are loops over loops along the Tsavo East River and the elephants are everywhere and eat, plus there are buffalo, antelope and, again, a new species. Gerenuks, gazelles, imagine that they want to be giraffes, they have a terribly long neck and prefer to eat in the highest parts of the bushes, ie where other small antelope can not reach and giraffes do not want eat, an ecological niche. All in all, we have the feeling that the author of the guide book was in the wrong parks, so different are the descriptions.

At some point, we are hungry, it is after 2co'lock and we make our way to the Ndololo camp site. There is a Cartaker and he directs us energetically on the eastern edge of the camp site, although we are the only guests, a little later we find out why, on the other side is a dead elephant, together with the lion, who has killed it in the past night.

I do quick two photos of the really nasty-looking guy, there must have been a spectacle in the morning when the rangers at the KWS (Kenya Wildlife Services) removed the tusks of the 6 or 7 years old elephants. The huge male lion is not ready to give up his prey, of course, because he has to eat for a week.

The Caretaker brings a wheelbarrow full of wood, because of the elephants, we should keep the fires burning all night. This seems also useful, it is not one tree, where you can not see the traces of rubbing of the elephants, even the one underneath which we build our tent is colored red.

A game drive we don't need any more, the elephants come to the camp site, also waterbuck, impala and, of course, mini buses, all want the lion seen on the other side and go right past us and at the one or other time we are also photographed, especially by the Japanese.

While we prepare dinner, an elephant comes down to the tent, he rubs in detail at the next tree and then calmly walkes past us on the camp site, even though the fire does not interest him. Fortunately, the elephants in Tsavo are very peaceful. When it gets dark, the queue of mini buses ends, the Caretaker disappears and we are alone with our lion.

Before we go to bed, we heat the fire again, but the night is quiet, we hear only the distant howling hyenas, but the lions will not bother us.

Km 160, 8 hours, 28° cloudy
U.S. $ 60 on the Public Campsite Ndololo, Tsavo East National Park, near Voi
U.S. $ 100 to park entrance and 300 KSH for the car

Tags: Ndololo, Tsavo East National Park, Tsavo, Voi, Tsavo West, KWS, Kenya Wildlife Services

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