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post-50530-0-46080500-1491575983_thumb.jpgThe waterhole at Sweetwaters had not been overly busy during the day, but at night there was a lot of activity, especially between 7-9 O-clock. At dusk the Defassa waterbuck would arrive settling down after drinking for the night. Then the Buffalo would arrive. Herds of about 60/70 were the norm but on one evening a big herd of about 150+ arrived. With the ground having reverted back to it's pre storm dryness the movement of 600+ hooves moving across it created dust screen which in low lighting gave the scene a surreal feel to it. Three black Rhino had arrived just before the Buffalo and were drinking quite peacefully but then became very agitated by all the commotion & upheaval that comes with a large herd of Buffalo intent only on sating their thirst. One Rhino in particular was really put out by it all and was charging around snorting and caused a moment of panic when he mock charged a mother & calf. The Rhino continued strutting up & down and snorting his displeasure, while the other two continued drinking and then all three finally moved off leaving the Buffalo to finish drinking, and probably thinking "what was his problem". post-50530-0-52126100-1491576088_thumb.jpg

On another night a lone bull Elephant had an altercation with another pair of black Rhino. On this occasion it was over the drinking rights at the best spot which is where the camp keeps the waterhole topped up. At this spot the water is fresh and unsullied and a lot of the game has learnt this, but not all. These, natures heavyweights, both knew this was the prime spot and both were intent on drinking there. As the Rhino moved in like a pair of heavies the Elephant backed off, which must have made the \rhino feel quite smug, but the Elephant was just sizing up the competition and after a few minutes moved forward menacingly. One Rhino backed away instantly, they other needed a little more persuasion. A deep rumble came from the Elephant and with a forward lunge of his head was more than enough to deter the other Rhino from staying any longer. The rhino moved away to drink at the waterhole leaving the Elephant to sate his thirst after what had been a very hot day.

My time at Sweetwaters & on Ol Pejeta was coming to an end and as I look back I will always remember a most wonderful morning in camp when we had herds of Eland, Giraffe and Zebra came together with the regular Impala & wart hogs and what a magical scene it was.


post-50530-0-88574100-1491576244_thumb.jpgThen there was the morning when three big bull Elephants came. They were noticeably very close, constantly rubbing against one another. And while they drank, all together, they would rub heads in a way I have not seen before, it was very touching.

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post-50530-0-30222100-1491576499_thumb.jpgOne morning down by the river we came across a herd of Giraffe drinking from a pool left by the storm, set among yellow Acacia trees it was such a beautifully natural scene.post-50530-0-82306400-1491576553_thumb.jpg

post-50530-0-30231100-1491576569_thumb.jpgOn another morning while I was sitting outside my tent I saw a large herd of animals in the distance. Picking up my binoculars I focused them & my goodness, they were Defassa Waterbuck. I had never seen them in a herd before. I counted 35 all together. They were coming strait towards me, it was such a lovely sight. These were not the resident waterbuck I usually see. Some of them drank briefly at the waterhole, otherwise the moved on in unison across the camp and vanished into the bush.

The little things are always a bonus, like the Steenbok we surprise near to camp, and the slender Mongoose which ran across my path in camp and the pair of bats I found while I was birding.post-50530-0-20261500-1491576758_thumb.jpg

In the evening I would walk to the far end of camp, torch in hand, and on most nights I would get to see 2/3 Bush babies. post-50530-0-62318600-1491576831_thumb.jpgMy bird count finished at 174 species with 130 of them seen around the camp grounds, which is quite astonishing in such a small area. post-50530-0-76935400-1491577714_thumb.jpg

Some final memories.post-50530-0-31115000-1491577711_thumb.jpg

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I hope you have enjoyed your time with me on Ol Pejeta, until next time(Oct?)................

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  • 2 weeks later...

Good stuff @@PHALANX - I like all the birds of course but the trio of Elephants really gave you some good photos!

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