Sunday, 11 December 2011

Day 85 – 29.6.2011 Run on the lions – Kudus at the Campsite – Baboons attacking us at Samburu National Reserve

With the right aggressive baboons as neighbors, we play safe and take the tent down before we go on a game drive, yesterday a baboon male attempted, while we were driving, he tried to open the handle of the back door, fortunatly the door was closed, we would have had him in the car.

Shortly after 6, we are on the road along the Ewaso Ngiro Rivers, unfortunately with more than 20 mini-buses and lodge cars full of screaming, loud tourists, the minibus drivers have found a pride of lions and surrounded them in a bush, the park rangers try to  move them forward (the minibusses, not the lions), but they are powerless and stuck in the traffic jam.

We pass along the river and are lucky, a lioness escapes and flees to the Chocolate River, passing directly by our car, while her daughters are looking for protection at the hillside.

The vultures in the trees are discovered only by a few still photographers, the hunt continues for the lionesses. We leave, that must not be real. A young Bateleur Eagle sits completely undetected on a branch, a strong male baboon comes along from breakfast at a waste bin, one can see that he is feeding often in the "civilization", a piece of plastic is still hanging out of his back.

At our campsite we have breakfast under the watchful eyes of his pals. A herd of kudu visits us, they are not shy at all. They have breakfast in the bushes around the camp. We build a shade umbrella and I work on my pictures, at least until a Baboon is sneaking from the car roof and short before almost atacking us from there, now it's enough, we leave and go over to the other side of the chocolate river into the Buffalo Springs National Reserve, the park entrance fees are fortunately valid for both Reserves.

There are pretty Grevy zebras, another new species for us, which look somekind strange, almost like a cross breed between zebra and donkey, they are threatened with extinction. Now only the blue-legged Somalia Ostriches are missing on our list of animals to find.

The roads are noticeably worser over here and suddenly our deep cycle battery (which is for the fridge) shows a fault. We stop underneath a shady tree, the control box for the dual battery system has fallen off and the whole battery mounting said goodbye, with cable ties the battery is tied up and the damage is repaired. So we think.

One asks me what you may need the most in Africa in any case, these are cable ties, wire, duct tape and plastic wrap, so you can repair just about anything on the car or tent.

It's getting late and we leave Buffalo Springs without having seen a buffalo, the side is visited far less, the roads are bad, there are fewer animals.

It is only Dikdik everywhere, every 5 or 10 meters, we see a pair of the mini-antelopes.

Guarded by the Rangers we see a huge male lion, amazingly having almost no mane, he is sleeping to under a tree, the mini bus drivers must abide by the rules and continue after a few minutes, the next will have to wait at a distance, the Leo is unfazed by the traffic around him, the lions grow well here in the next mini-buses, and he is well fed, you can see the round tummy.

The sunset comes quickly, we build up our tent again, all around us the baboons are sitting in the trees, the night is probably the only thing that can hold them in check, they probably wait until the next morning to return to harass tourists . Whether the park administration knows well that they have got some problem animals? We were told that we should throw the trash a few feet further into the pit, which is then the self-service counter for the monkeys, who has got more brains here?

Tonight is the hell going on around the camp site around, roaring lion nearby, where the kudu have eaten lunch, now young elephants are nibbling on the green, the monkeys are making lots of noise in the trees and on the other side the zebras are neighing. Very late we fall asleep, it was nice to just sit by the fire and enjoy the African night.

67 km, 33°, sunny
$ 40 at the Public Campsite of the Samburu National Reserves in the Ewaso River Ngiro
to U.S. $ 120 park fee and 1000 KSH for the car

Tags: Samburu National Reserve, Ngiro Ewaso River, Buffalo Springs National Reserve, Chocolate river

Highlights from 29.6.2011 and 30.6.2011

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