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I like the first ele photo in post #23 for quite a few reasons, not the least of which is that it leaves to your imagination the landscape that might be awaiting the elephant just over the rise.

The color you've captured in the cheetahs' eyes is also very striking.

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We saw many rhinos, more whites than blacks. We also made the baby rhino visit. There were two of them, followed 24 hours/day by rangers, both being there because their mother is blind. The bigger one, Elvis was two years old. Its sister, Lola, was only one and was still fed by bottle. Visitors can stroke them and bottle-feed them. They are released when they reach their adult size, when no predators, other than human beings, will be able to harm them.


















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To close the Lewa chapter, some elephants pictures.










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An abundance in Samburu! Grevy's galore. Even that back end shot was flattering. Maybe no leopard, but all the rest made up for it. I love the ostrich family. Your shots really highlight Samburu's specialties.


Nice buffalo portraits with the dried mud. It's hard to get a new and interesting angle on buffalo. I too thought the kudu must have been elevated. It looks like that kudu calf is about ready to board your vehicle.

Edited by Atravelynn
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After a flight with a few stops on the way, we arrived in MASAI MARA, where our new driver, Edwin, was waiting for us. We stayed eight nights, the first three at Mara Sopa and then at Karen Blixen Camp in the Mara North Conservancy. In the eastern part of the Mara, there are some big lodges. So, in spite of the tourism crisis in Kenya in 2008, the cars concentrations around lions sightings were sometimes quite high.




I said previously that there were no leopard sightings during the whole safari. To that, one must add no cheetah sightings at all in the Mara. But this was largely offset by the significant number of lions seen, nearly seventy different, some being seen several times : roaring lions, lions on honeymoon, hunting lions, sleeping lions, …….




And thus, also scavengers on carcasses.



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(Gulp) - no cheetah in 8 nights in the Mara, Mike? ........ I must say, very unlucky? I must say, that's an extremely peculiar situation though .......... as you say, they may have been hiding well from all of them Lions!

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Lovely ele shots. Interesting notches on the one's tusks.

Nice vultures, too. Definitely one of the most interesting animals to watch.

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Lovely ele shots. Interesting notches on the one's tusks.


Well, it's a very pertinent remark. I did not even notice that myself. If someone has an explanation, I would be pleased to read it.

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The weather was stormy, there were some heavy showers during the day and/or the night.




Obviously, it was half-time, the two teams and the referee recovered before commencing the second half. The pictures were taken at the Keekorok lodge staff quarters.



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On the way to our new stopping place, KBC, a bus full of teenagers was stuck in the mud (it had rained a lot during the night). All the passengers were outside, barefoot. When the bus finally managed to free itself from the mud, they all rinsed their feet in a puddle before re-enter the vehicle. It had caused a traffic jam and as it was difficult for the other vehicles to get away from it, we bypassed it , leaving the road (our vehicle was a 4x4).




We arrived at KBC at noon. The last stretch of the road leading down to the river Mara, along which the camp is located, is very rugged. It passes through woods and the ground is rocky. Our first game drive in the Mara North Conservancy was interesting and at the end of it, we got a thorough soaking. We found a couple of lions extremely busy with their life perpetuation duty. In the beginning, there were only two vehicles on the sighting but quickly there were eighteen. Clearly disturbed by this noisy environment, the lioness at once decided to move away, sneaking swiftly between two cars. The male, on the other hand, hesitated, backed and showed its confusion. Some cars, then, moved to clear a passage. Before slipping into it, it showed its annoyance to the nearest car. It then joined its mate, soon followed by the “wild bunch” but without us.




The rain had begun to fall when we were with the lions. It became stronger and we decided to go back to the camp. The roads quickly turned into sloughs or streams. We advanced slowly in the pouring rain and a soggy landscape so that it looked like a lake. We could not see the road anymore and moving forward, we certainly went off-road. Water rushed down the slopes down to the river like a torrent. It was still raining when we went to sleep.



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Mike, I think I was in the Mara North too in June of 2008 - I think we missed each other. I was at Serian camp.


I saw cheetahs on that trip - can't remember where exactly, if in conservancy or the reserve.

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Well, Hari, this is not the first time that we missed each other. The previous time was in Zib, is not it?

Perhaps, we should try to organize ourselves to be somewhere at the same time?

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Yes, Mike for sure ....... sounds like a nice plan, indeed!!!!

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We made game drives in the North Conservancy during two days, looking, vainly, for leopard or cheetah. So, we did not stop a lot for other species.













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Really enjoyed these latest installments. Cheetah heaven in Samburu and Lewa! Interesting that you had so many good sightings of them up there, and none in the Mara. It certainly was the other way around for me last year. Particularly like the Waterbuck in the grass, that Rhino shot with the Oxpecker just peeking out, and the Purple Roller.

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Some last pictures made in the Mara North Conservancy.








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As we were disappointed not to see any leopard and cheetah, we decided to go and have a look in the Reserve. We saw a few lions in the Musiara marsh but could not get close to them.




We reached the banks of the Mara River. On the other side, at the foot of the Serena hill, an advance party of the herds was like waiting for a special signal to cross. Nevertheless, some individuals had already made the crossing. A hippo was trying to go down the river where it was shallow. It kept slipping on the rocks. A few huge crocodiles were going upstream.




We were about to move away when we noticed upstream some agitation. Fifteen crocodiles were there to argue the remains of a zebra. That was the reason why they were going upstream. Crocodiles can pick very far downstream the smell and taste of blood.



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What a rich, textured fur on the jackals' backs.

Also appreciate the Temple of Doom-esque croc shots.

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More of the crocodiles frenzy. We were not the only spectators.













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That croc feeding frenzy is wild. It's a fair trade for no cheetah/leopard sightings. I wonder how the cheetah population of Samburu in 2008 compares to today. I suppose that same question would be relevant for other species too. I love the hazy farewell cheetah photos. Great jackal pair.

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Intense scenes - but I especially love the expression on the watching buffalo´s face. Priceless! :)

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Thank you so much for your comments; Concerning the cheetah population in Samburu, to-day, @@johnkok mentionned on this topic, at #22, that he did not see any cheetah at all, a couple of months ago.

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The last pictures of the crocodiles’ banquet.













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We spent the second day in the reserve mostly around Musiara and with the marsh pride (four females and nine cubs).




A hippo, back from its nocturnal expedition and on its way to the river, came across the pride. After some hesitations, it decided to continue its way passing through it. The lions, not too concerned by its presence, did not move a lot and the hippo continued its journey quietly.



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