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Karibu Kenya, a Land of Wildlife Abundance


Tulips
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Thank you everyone for your comments.  I really appreciate it!

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@Tulips

 

Wow, so many good sightings and you are only a few days in. I'm so glad you good to see your leopard -- and one so photogenically posed in a tree for you. It's such a thrill to see one for the first time. They are so beautiful and graceful. 

 

I love everything else, as well, though. It may sound funny, but I haven't yet seen a leopard tortoise or Secretarybird, so those would excite me!  And the shot of the ostrich with the Crowned Crane is great!

 

I hope the rains didn't interfere with your safari too much, but the area sure needed it. Things are looking more lush than I was expecting.  We will be in Laikipia in early February, so it will be interesting to compare and contrast. 

 

Looking forward to more. 

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so happy that you got to see a leopard and so close and clear! we never found one-but it gives us a good reason to perhaps return!

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3 hours ago, plambers said:

so happy that you got to see a leopard and so close and clear! we never found one-but it gives us a good reason to perhaps return!

  I was thinking about you as I was writing this @plambers.  I remember you had mentioned about not wanting a scheduled day and thinking that two three hour game drives wasn't that scheduled.  Now having been able to make my own schedule and stay out on a game drive all day if I want, I totally get what you were saying about not wanting a schedule.

 

I didn't really see a leopard my first time in Africa either.

 

 

Have you bit the bullet?

Edited by Tulips
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@Alexander33 the rain sort of got in the way of my last full day at Segera, but I know Laikipia needed the rain.  More to come on that.

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Great trip report and pictures so far...we just returned from our trip to Kenya as well....it is indeed an amazing land...can't wait for the rest of your report.

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So, as I previously stated, I asked for a 5:30am wake up call only if we could go out for a game drive.  It rained hard overnight and non-stop.  When I awoke at 5:50am and realized no one came knocking at 5:30am, I wasn't surprised.  It was nice to get a bit of a lie in.  I went out on the deck and there was a rainbow so that was definitely a positive.

 

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My Villa from the front

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I went over for breakfast and Paul came along and advised he tried to get the vehicle out and drive it, but he didn't get very far and had to turn back.  As it was a sunny day, he figured the roads would dry up and we would be able to go out a bit later.

 

Jochen Zeitz, the owner, also came by to ask about my previous days and make sure that everything was ok.  It was my second meeting with him as he had come by on my first evening to say hi.  He assured me it wouldn't make any difference if I went out now or later and told me the vehicle would just get stuck (as Paul had said).

 

So, even though it was a beautiful sunny day, I found some other things to do, although I realized I had a problem.  An addiction.....  An addiction to game drives.  LOL!  

 

Mr. Zeitz owns the gipsy moth plane that was used in the movie, Out of Africa, so Paul took me over to see it.  It's kept in a hanger and we could walk to it.  It is quite a spectacular sight to see and its remarkable the thing even flies.  It just seems so flimsy.  But that is how planes were built in the 1920's.  Every now and then, He takes it out and flies it.

 

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We also took a walk over to the staff quarters.  The staff are treated very well and everyone has a room.  There is no sharing, which is nice for them.

 

All of the food at Segera is grown on site.  There is a very large vegetable garden, which we also visited.

 

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There is quite the bevy of weavers that live in the trees in the staff area.  I couldn't resist a picture.

 

 

 

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After a couple of hours of seeing behind the scenes at Segera, Paul asked if I wanted to try to go out for a drive.  Of course.  Don't have to ask twice.  We did get out, but we really couldn't get far and it was quite perilous at one point.  i really thought we were going to get stuck in the mud.  I did manage to get a few shots, but decided to head back and let the ground dry some more.  Didn't really fancy spending hours trying to get unstuck form the mud.

 

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Tawny Eagle

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Grey Heron

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Hammerkop

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This zebra has a very open wound

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I had a lovely lunch and watched the giraffe who came by for a visit.

 

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And then was asked if I would like to see the hide?  Hide you say?  Of course.  I'd never been in a hide and so this was a totally different experience.  It's a really neat perspective for photography and for watching the animals.  It's also probably the only time I was cursing the long grass.  LOL!  The giraffe came by the hide as well after a bit of a wait.  I just love the images I got.

 

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This one isn't an animal, but is probably my favourite shot.

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We tried to go out again, but then it started to rain again, and so the day was a write off as far as any more game drives.  So I went for a massage with Roseanne and I have to say, she is such a lovely lady.  We both needed a laugh that day and we were able to give that to each other.  I was sorry I hadn't really spend any time with her earlier.  She has such a sense of humour.

 

It stopped raining and started to clear enough that Mount Kenya made a miraculous appearance.  This was the first time I had seen it as it was always cloud covered.  

 

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Later, I was able to tour the top floor of the paddock house.  This is where Mr. Zeitz keeps some of his memorabilia.  It was quite interesting to see it.

 

Karen Blixen

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Letter from David Livingstone

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Out of Africa

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Edited by Tulips
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Amazing trip and sightings! I love them all, but if I *** had to *** pick a favorite, that would probably be the leopard. What an elegant, beautiful animal! Brings back memories as the ones we saw in South Africa. Keep them coming!

 

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@tulips-isn't it amazing how quickly 6:15 to 1 pm goes?? I wish my work day went that quickly! we are close but not 100 percent certain if it will be this or next year...

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offshorebirder

I'm very much enjoying this report @Tulips, and living vicariously through your storytelling and photos. 

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On my last morning in Segera, I decided to do an early morning game drive as I wanted to squeeze every last minute out of my time there, so was up at 5:30 and game driving by 6:15am.

 

There wasn't any particular plan for the morning, but I did want to see if I could see the leopard one last time.  We set out in the area where we had previously seen the leopards and came upon an elephant family at sunrise.

 

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Also hanging around were a grevy's zebra and a cape buffalo.

 

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It was then that we came upon an interesting sight in an open field.  We saw vulture and hyena and a tawny eagle.  So we knew there had been a kill, which meant there would be a good chance of a cat sighting.  We sat and watched the scrum for a little bit.  There wasn't much left of whatever was killed.  I won't post a photo as it was quite gruesome.

 

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Then we heard growling and Paul said it was a male lion and we immediately headed in the direction of the sound, although I couldn't believe how far Paul drove.  i actually questioned this, but he was certain that the sound was coming from where we now sat.  Since Paul is paid to find these things, I didn't question any further and it wasn't long before we saw a lioness.    She had spotted the gravy's I shoed you earlier and we sat and wondered if she would hunt it.  But she just wandered and then went into the bushes.  We followed her a bit to see if she would do anything, but she wasn't interested.

 

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We again heard the male lion and started to drive further along.  We drove for quite a while and then finally, they were spotted.  What luck!  There were two male lions and one had a bit of a mane, which i was longing to see.  The bigger one with the mane had been in a fight.

 

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We stayed and watched them for quite a while and then made one last effort for the leopard, but no luck today.

 

Shortly after 9am, Paul said we should start to head back to the lodge.  I half heartedly suggested he might want to get us lost. I really didn't want to leave, but the plane was coming at 11am and I still had to have breakfast and finish up with the packing.  

 

 

This is Paul to the left and Peter (who helped serve all the meals to the right) and our vehicle.

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After breakfast, Charlotte, the manager came running after me to tell me there was an issue with the necklaces I had ordered the other day.  Due to all the rain that fell, they couldn't get across the river to deliver them. They had tried.  She advised that Paul was taking a run out to see if he could get them, but she wanted to know the rest of my hotels so she could make arrangements to get them to me if Paul couldn't get them.  I gave her the list and she said if all else failed, she would send them to me at my home.  No worries.  I appreciated the effort they were going to to get them to me.

 

Then, all too soon, the plane arrived and it was time to head back to Nairobi.  Some of the staff came out to see me off including Paul, who didn't manage to get the necklaces due to the water levels, and Charlotte as well as the chef, Elizabeth.  Believe me when I say tears were shed!

 

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The flight back was about 50 minutes or so and then the baggage person from the airline took my bag and we went out to find my transfer to take me to the Emakoko.  We couldn't find him, but he was just parked in a different area and was soon found once a call was made.  Unfortunately, the vehicle wouldn't start.  This poor driver, Sammy, was desperately trying to get the car to start and other people came to help and it turned out a wire had come loose.  In the interim, Sammy had phoned the owner, who promptly apologized for this and said a new vehicle would be coming in a few short minutes to take us on our way.  He advised that it was full of the grocery shopping.  As soon as the call ended, the new vehicle pulled up and we left those drivers to fix the broken vehicle and Sammy and I left for the Emakoko.  

 

On leaving the airport, there was a long line of traffic and cars were bursting with people and there was cheering and horn honking and I wondered what it was all about.  Sammy said that the election had been overturned.  Ah yes.  I had forgotten that today was the day that decision was going to be made and had actually dreaded the fact that I was to return to Nairobi on the same day, but then had forgotten all about it while i was at Segera.  Luckily, all I saw was cheering and honking and I'm not were of any violence that took place and at no time did I feel unsafe.

 

We arrived at Nairobi National Park after driving on some absolutely atrocious pot hole filled roads.  We began a little game drive and I promptly realized we could not off road, which I had been used to at Segera.  At least the animals are fairly close to to road, so you can still get some good shots.  The Emakoko, is in the park, so you can do a game drive on your way there.

 

I believe this is an African Pied Wagtail

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Peek a boo!

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One thing Segera does not have is Rhino.  So I was happy to see this White Rhino in the park.

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I had never seen Black Rhino before so I was thrilled with these two.

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As we were getting near two, I suggested we get to the Emakoko as I still had to have lunch and then I had to get to the Giraffe Centre and the 5pm appointment at Sheldrick's.

 

At the lodge, i met Anton Childs, who owns he property along with his wife, Emma.  He took a few minutes to explain the property and let me know that I should leave no later than 3pm to have time with the giraffes and then the Elephants.  I was also advised that the lodge was frequented by hyrax, harmless creatures, who like to eat the roses.  

 

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I was shown to my cottage and given a quick tour and then I went to lunch, which was a delicious fish meal.

 

Sammy and I headed off again at 3pm and did a bit of a quickie game drive, but as time was short, we really didn't linger.  Traffic was so bad, that I only had about 20 minutes at the Giraffe Centre.  I got my kiss and a chance to feed the giraffe.  I would have liked more time here, but they were also limiting how many times you could feed the animals.  

 

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Then it was off to Sheldrick's for the 5pm foster visit.  Traffic on the road to Sheldrick's is awful and in fact we sat for so long not going that 5pm came and I started to panic that they wouldn't let me in.  But Sammy assured me that I would be let in and I was and I was not the only late person either.  I got there just in time as the babies were just coming in.

 

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I fostered Kuishi and Joto.  Kuishi was rather reluctant and really didn't want to be in photos.  She just wanted to eat.  The caretaker really tried to get her in a position where I could at least get one good photo.

 

Kuishi

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This one was already asleep and they hadn't been in all that long.

 

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I find it interesting to watch them stand as they eat.

 

This is Joto.

 

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This warthog was unusually warm to people.  Usually they are very skittish and run away.  This one just plopped right down on the ground in front of me. 

 

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I spent quite a while at the Trust as there were many babies to see and a giraffe also.  I can't even remember what time I left, but there was hardly anybody left when I left.

 

On arrival back at the lodge, there was a whole crowd of people.  I had earlier been told I was the only guest that night, so this surprised me.  Emma and Anton advised that they did not want me to eat alone and so they invited their family and a genet to come along.  Now, I have never ever had anyone be concerned that I was alone, to do such a nice thing.  They are really caring people and really attests to the kind of stay one has at the Emakoko.

 

Over dinner, we chatted about the election and the issues and I learned quite a lot, I have to say.

 

I couldn't stay too late into the evening as I had to get up at 4:00am the next day for my flight to Rwanda.  So I said my goodbyes and then, all of a sudden, a genet appears.  Another first for me.  Good thing I hadn't left any earlier.

 

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And so endeth my stay in Kenya and I have to say that I really want to go back.  I really thought the sightings were so much better than South Africa.  I totally get why some of you return to Kenya again and again.

 

Thank you all for your comments and for following along and for putting up with all my birds.

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What a lovely ending to your stay. I am a huge fan of the Emakoko so I'm glad to hear you enjoyed it.  I think the game at NNP is exceptional, especially rhino.  I look forward to following you to Rwanda!

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Thanks @amybatt.  You and @Tom Kellie and I think @SafariChick swayed me to stay at the Emakoko and it was totally worth it.

 

There is indeed a lot of wildlife at Nairobi National Park.  It's definitely worth a visit.

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What a lovely trip report! Even with the rain, what an adventure!  Can't wait to read about Rwanda too.

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  • 2 weeks later...

Fabulous TR and photos!!!! Thanks so much for sharing your amazing trip! I am headed to Kenya but not until 2019.... till then, I read ST!!

the Emakoko sounds like a great idea at end of trip: thanks to you @amybatt, @Tom Kellie And @SafariChick.  Now, we just have to decide to add an area to the Mara, or just there for 11 nights, moving around... your area looked great!

 

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  • 2 weeks later...

Wonderful trip report with lovely sightings!  I am also surprised at how many wonderful bird sightings you had.  The secretary bird is fantastic...great pics of a really unusual bird.  I understand your sentiments on the leopard sighting, lucky.  I was fortunate enough to see a couple in ZA previously, they are marvelous creatures and elusive.  Well done!

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On 2017-10-16 at 0:35 PM, AandA said:

Fabulous TR and photos!!!! Thanks so much for sharing your amazing trip! I am headed to Kenya but not until 2019.... till then, I read ST!!

the Emakoko sounds like a great idea at end of trip: thanks to you @amybatt, @Tom Kellie And @SafariChick.  Now, we just have to decide to add an area to the Mara, or just there for 11 nights, moving around... your area looked great!

 

  Thanks @AandA.   The area was fabulous, but it was expensive.

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serendipityntravel

Awesome photographs, and I enjoyed viewing them.  Looks like the leopard was the cherry on the cake!

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@Tulips I had no idea that the wildlife and birdlife were so awesome at Segera. I also stayed for two nights at Emakoko and was amazed not only at the wildlife but felt that it was an excellent lodge. Anton was there and he was a superb host, but Emma was absent.

 

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Just recently back from our ST to Kenya, great to catch up on your report, and l agree that the bird life is surprising as to how many species there are.

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Really enjoyed your report, thank you for sharing!

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  • 4 months later...

"Oh, what a beautiful morning, oh, what a beautiful day!  I've got a beautiful feeling, everything's going my way.......!!!!"

Gorgeous shot to go with your song.  I just saw my nephew sing this in his high school musical.

 

Such great variety.  The baby ostriches are such a treat along with the jackal pup, even if it was the leopard that brought tears to your eyes.

 

How nice you got to see your foster eles!

Edited by Atravelynn
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