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A Return to Kenya: September 2019


TonyQ

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Caracal

Wonderful sightings of Lesser Kudu and Gerenuk beautifully portrayed in your lovely photos @TonyQ. Extra special to see a healthy Lesser Kudu youngster as well.

That's a big tusker too - no wonder he's having a bit of a rest!

Enjoying it all.

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I have saved this sighting for last, although it happened in the middle of the day. It was one of the most thrilling of the trip! A Serval It walked on the road   We

Selenkay Consevancy/Amboseli National Park   A quick car journey to Wilson Airport (The Boma Hotel is handily placed) for a 07.30 flight to Selenkay Airstrip. The plane left a bit early for

Bohor Reedbuck baby feeding Hartebeest Bushbuck - a really beautiful antelope - but I suppose they all are! Long-tailed Fiscal Vervet Monkey

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Thanks for sharing! Beautiful pictures of some handsome animals. Thanks!

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Beautiful!
Let´s see what more you have in the pocket... 

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Your photos bring back great memories of our visit last February.  I agree, the Gerenuk is one awesome antelope :).

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AfricIan
20 hours ago, TonyQ said:

We were met at the airstrip by Wilson (our guide)

 

That wouldn't be the same Wilson who was our guide in 2010 would it?

Edited by AfricIan
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Treepol

Great to see your photos of gerenuk and the lesser kudu, especially the baby.

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AfricIan
5 hours ago, TonyQ said:

Our guide was Wilson Kasaine

 

I can't remember "our Wilson"'s surname but he's the 2nd the right in this photo - does he look familiar?

 

IMG_0100.jpg.509ed36c9d5124b76d6a232412468c77.jpg

 

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Atravelynn

Way to go with the lesser kudu and gerenuk engaging in gerenuk browsing behavior.  Those blue eyes on the serval are mesmerizing.

 

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@Atravelynn @AfricIan @Treepol @Atdahl @Antee @KaliCA @Caracal

Thank you all for your encouragement

 

Selenkay Waterholes

 

Selenkay was very dry when we were there. There are at least a couple of waterholes which can be visited as part of game drives in the conservancy. Two of them have a small viewing tower where you can get out of the vehicle, have a drink and watch wildlife coming down for their drink.

 

It is interesting to watch the “pecking order” and the range of strategies that different species use in coming for water.

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Elephants tend to come late afternoon. When they want a drink they go straight to the water and everything else moves away. For the elephants it appears to be a social occasion as they arrive from different directions, greet each other, and stand right in the middle of the water.

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918613_KenyaTRSelenkayWH1-10.jpg.363435e1cdb2b0fd85b43427f083d0cf.jpg

 

1759865170_KenyaTRSelenkayWH1-12.jpg.246a15b9bbbee8d5abdfaa69b05112dd.jpg

 

70938076_KenyaTRSelenkayWH2-1.jpg.edac6c52e3f40b899445c482640c3728.jpgEven a lion waits for the elephants

 

This (collared) lion begins to hunt a Warthog, but eventually gives up when the Warthog sees her.

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So she decides to have a drink. Other animals stay well clear

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Zebra are very boisterous and use a lot of energy fighting with each other and chasing other Zebra away. When they do drink they stand in the middle of the water. Many other animals stay well clear

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Eland and Impala appear to come when there are few other species present. They stand at the side of the pool and keep an eye on what is happening

1637765833_KenyaTRSelenkayWH1-8.jpg.4fe3e18ea40631819463a064b0dddc45.jpg

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Warthog seem bold and unbothered by anything except Elephant and Lions.

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Giraffe are very cautious and take a long time to decide to drink. I suppose they are very vulnerable when in a drinking posture.

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Many birds are also attracted to the water

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A few more elephants

839681095_KenyaTRSelenkayWH2-8.jpg.f8f4350044271a0d0fe2000e5b8cc4f0.jpg

Amother with twins arriving

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The excitement gets too much...

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Social time as well as getting water

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And another antelope (not at the waterholes!)

1483324447_KenyaTRSelenkayDikDik-1.jpg.3cd18343532e8eca969e759c74809c86.jpg

Dikdik

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Portrait

 

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Oh my TonyQ, you saw a lot more animals at the watering hole than we did, but by the beginning of October they had a bit of rain so the water hole was not as populated.  That collared lioness must be the same one we saw with her suitor.  We observed 4 bouts of mating, I'm sure they were pretty sick of us interrupting their honeymoon.  I just love your pictures, especially the twin ellies - they look as if they are smiling and really looking forward to their play date at the water hole!

 

I meant to also ask, what lens were you shooting with?  As a birder, I am sure you have an incredible zoom and multiple cameras.  Just curious.  Thanks!!

Edited by MMMim
forgot a question
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@MMMim

Thank you - interesting to hear about the lioness and about the impact of the rain

The lens for almost all of the shots is a Canon 100-400 mark ii on a Canon 7dii

A few (wide angle) are with a 17-70mm Sigma lens on a Canon 70D

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Caracal

What interesting observations on waterhole procedure/precedence.

 

That portrait of the Dikdik is superb!

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Amylovescritters

Wonderful report and pics. I love gerenuk! 

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@Caracal @Amylovescritters thank you

 

Amboseli National Park

Selenkay Conservancy is on the edge of the National Park. Porini Amboseli include a full day visit to the park as part of their offer.

So we set out after breakfast, and it is a fairly long drive. The landscape changes, the soil colour changes and as you get closer to the park it is very flat and very dry. There are interesting creatures on the way

 

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Eastern Pale Chanting Goshawk

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White-bellied Bustard

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Rosy-Patched Bush-Shrike - this sat on a bush by the track completely unbothered by us

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Thomson's Gazelle with baby

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Pangani Longclaw

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Scrub Hare (I think!)

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Giraffe and dry plains

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Grey Crowned Crane displaying

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Beautiful birds-  we have never seen them do this before!

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Between the conservancy and the park we pass people queuing to collect water from a pump. At the park entrance, we sign in and have a cup of coffee before heading into the park.Mount Kilimanjaro was hidden by cloud all of the time we were in the park. (But I can’t say we were not really bothered)

 

The park was exceptionally good for birds, offering a wide range of birds attracted to the water.

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Kittlitz’s Plover

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Greater Flamingo - Lesser Flaming were also present but in smaller numbers

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Spur-winged Plover

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African Jacana

- a lot of birds came very close to the track. There was water on each side of the track at this point and so many birds it was difficult to know which way to look!

 

819156847_KenyaTRAmboseli-14.jpg.68adc51b9c7e3cee8fc1ef7b78b2b291.jpgGreat White Pelican

And so were other creatures

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Wildebeest

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Edited by TonyQ
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It was also very good for elephants, attracted to the water and the rich vegetation in the swamp area.

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Elephant heading towards water

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Baboon

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Taveta Golden Weaver

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Enjoying the swamp

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In up to their neck...

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Tawny Eagle dark and pale morphs

409442875_KenyaTRAmboseli-24.jpg.e136b37b5b3e9314db869aa5ab331f1c.jpg

Superb Starling

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View from “the Hill”

162500946_KenyaTRAmboseli-25.jpg.059d1c3e7477a1c76163a3d06ee42352.jpg

The hill is a viewpoint at the top of a hill overlooking the park. It was where we (And others) stopped for lunch as you can get out of the vehicle at this point. You can see the green marshy area and the very dry area surrounding it.

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Baby with mother

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Black Crake

And on the drive home

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Red and Yellow Barbet

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Female Pygmy Falcon - a lovely little bird, only about 20cm long

 

So Selenkay/Amboseli

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(curtain from tent in Porini Amboseli)

We enjoyed our stay and think it provides a good addition to our visit to the Mara Area. The environment is very different and this leads to a different selection of mammals and birds. (We photographed 119 species of birds during our visit). We thought the three nights we spent here were about right.

 

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Fantastic report thanks @TonyQ - great Serval pics as well.

Gee the lesser Kudu is a stunning Antelope.

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