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Kenyan road safari January 2018


Wild Dogger

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Wild Dogger

Due to lots of time forced by Corona, I decided to start a report about a trip in January 2018:
1 night Nairobi (forgot the hotel)
5 nights Masai Mara, Mara Bush Camp
1 night Lake Naivasha, Naivasha Sopa Lodge
2 nights Amboseli NP, Kibo Safari Camp
2 nights Tsavo West, Severin Safari Camp
then to the Diani Beach for relaxing.
We used Sunworld Safaris for this trip (except beach part), an austrian/kenyan company we travelled already several times with. 
We travelled by road, which was pretty exciting due to heavy traffic and ridiculous driving by heavyload trucks.

 

We arrive on the Mara Bush Camp right in time for lunch.
Mara Bush Camp is a very nice place on the eastern banks of the Olare Orok inside the Masai Mara National Reserve.

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the view is nothing special: you look on the Olare Orok, where on the western banks there´s dense bushes:

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Wild Dogger

So, of to our first drive:
we stay on the eastern side of the river and enjoy the special Mara scenery as well as the animals.

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the obvious proud African Fish Eagle

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Ground Hornbill with some kind of a green snake

 

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lovely Giraffes

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Giraffe and Acacia

 

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Topi Antelope with fawn

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relaxing hyena

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the always present Eland antelope

This was it for the first drive. No cats yet, but this should change.

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Pamshelton3932

@Wild Dogger thank you thank thank for doing a trip report!  There is nothing better than spending self-quarantine time reading about safaris and viewing such excellent pictures!  I especially like the eland.  They’re always too skittish for me to get a decent photo.

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michael-ibk

Looking forward to this. Stayed at Mara Bush Camp some years ago and really liked it, they seem to have upgraded their tents.

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Wild Dogger
19 minutes ago, michael-ibk said:

Looking forward to this. Stayed at Mara Bush Camp some years ago and really liked it, they seem to have upgraded their tents.

Actually we stayed in Mara Bush Camp - Private wing, don´t know how the Bush Camps tents are.

 

 

5 hours ago, Pamshelton3932 said:

@Wild Dogger thank you thank thank for doing a trip report!  There is nothing better than spending self-quarantine time reading about safaris and viewing such excellent pictures!  I especially like the eland.  They’re always too skittish for me to get a decent photo.

Thanks, in the Mara almost all animals seemed to be relaxed, so no skittish Elands like in southern Africa.

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Atravelynn

Ground Hornbill with some kind of a green snake and a lovely purple blossom.  What a unique bouquet.

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mtanenbaum

Great photos, thanks for sharing. I LOVE the hornbill photo, really unusual!

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Wild Dogger

Day 2:

As the cats seem to be on the western side of the river, we decide to pass the Olare Orok and try our luck that side.
Due to lots of rains in the past days the passing is a little adventurous. There is only one way over the river and our guide has to aim the right location exactly.

 

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Mara scenery

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We quickly find a male lion:

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Not sure, but I think he´s called "Lipstick".

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We hear rumble up on the hills and follow the sounds:

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It seems that this lioness is trying to kick out the young male out of the pride.

Then we get a call that something has happened on the other side of the hill:

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It seems that the big male we´ve seen before had digged a warthog out of his hole. When we arrive, the pig is still alive.

Interesting enough, the lion´s not eating it. He waits for the pride to come.

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and still he does not eat, even the lioness is not eating, she only opens the carcass for the youngsters.
Meanwhile the male is taking care, that none of the other lions comes close to the meal.

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Wow, what an action packed morning so far.

We leave the lions and check out some elephants in the distance:

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Now it´s time for Cheetah, but before we see a beautiful Crowned Cane:

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The Cheetah has killed something and is hiding it in the dense gras:

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To round the spectacular morning up, a Topi is posing for us on a termite mount:

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This was the morning of day 2, afternoon drive will follow later.

 

 

Edited by Wild Dogger
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@Wild Dogger interesting lion dynamics, lioness trying to kick out adolescent male, and  the other male waiting for the cubs to eat first.

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Atravelynn

Fascinating to watch the young male being asked to leave Mama's basement.  Those were great images along with mealtime.

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Wild Dogger

The afternoon of day 2:

we´ve heard about some Cheetah on the Eastern side of the Olare Orok we skip on the adventurous passage and try our luck with the Cheetah.

We quickly find the Cheetah but they are not very entertaining. Seemed they were full from the morning hunt. So we leave them after a short while.

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On the hillside we again find some Eland.
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and Giraffes are feeding on the green shoots of some bushes

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Mr. Baboon is passing by, taking care of his business.

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At least some action:
2 Jackals are trying  to steal a Topi fawn carcass from a hyena.
One is trying to distract the Hyena from the carcass, to give the other a chance to steal some food. But it does not work out for the Jackals.

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There was not a lot of light anymore, so these pictures were taken on high Iso, as well as the last sighting of the day close to the camp:

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So that was it for the second day of our 2018 kenyan safari.

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Bush dog

I really like the first hyena picture.  One can see all the determination in its eyes.

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michael-ibk

Great sequence of the Jackals facing off the Hyena, high Iso or not!

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Atravelynn

Fantastic jackal and hyena interaction.

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Wild Dogger

Day 3 was not really exciting.
Due to the rains we decide to stay on the eastern side.
For good reason:

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This supply truck hit a rock after crossing the river and fell over.

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Morning balloon

It was really a quiet morning, not a lot to see, at the end we see this lioness:

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After the lunch break, the truck has been transported away and we try to go west.

We actually don´t get to see much, there´s an Agama
 

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and a nice DikDik

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At least we find the lions doing nothing

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We get called to a place where a leopard has been seen. As we reach there a dozen other vehicles are waiting in line to get a climpse of the Tom cat.
This is all we get to see from him:

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This was it for the day.
There is a suspension bridge build by the camp connecting the western banks with the camp. So we can leave the car on the western side and walk over the bridge to camp.
Next morning, we easily pass over the bridge without the more and more dangerous river crossing.

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Wild Dogger

Day 4, last full day in the Masai Mara:
crossing the river via the bridge and heading up to another morning drive:

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Mara sunrise

Nice clan of Hyenas:

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I love hyena puppies, they are about the cutest I can imagine.

Bat-eared fox:

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We find the lions, most of them are enjoying the morning sun

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but Mommy is already in shopping mood:

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but the warthog escapes:

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Mr. lion is meanwhile some meters away:

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Enough of lions, let´s go to the Cheetah, but don´t forget the Kori Bustard:

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and here´s the cat:

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We drive towards the Mara river, still have not got a proper Leopard sighting, but here he is:

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He´s a bit skittish and the Impala ram is surprised of being ignored: "What´s wrong with me? Do I stink?"

This was just the morning drive, the afternoon was less adventurous, heavy rain was building up.

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Tomorrow will be the last morning in the Mara before we proceed to Laka Naivasha.

This morning we more or less take a slow drive to the Park´s exit, with some plains game sightings:

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Wild Dogger

We go to Lake Naivasha for one ight, which is actually nothing to talk about.
The drive to Amboseli is quite adventurous, with all this heavy-load trucks speeding on the road. We see a lot of truck carcasses on the road side.

Amboseli is mostly interesting for Elephants and the view of Mount Kilimanjaro, which was our major goal of going there.

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Crowned Cranes
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Saddlebilled Stork

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Zebra

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Yellow-throated Longclaw

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Killi

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From Amboseli we drove to Tsavo West for another 2 final Safari nights.
We stayed in the Severin Safari Camp, whiich we liked, although it was mainly used by tourists on a safari quickie break from Mombasa.
We liked the landscape very much, while the wildlife was not that prolific.

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Zebras again

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European Roller

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Lilac Breasted Roller

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Dassies

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Elephants

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Baboon

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Female Rosy-patched Bushshrike

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Fiscal Shrihe

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Pygmy Falcon

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We got to see one lion, a  male with little mane. We were told that the lions in Tsavo don´t have these huge manes.

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Chameleon

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Secretary bird

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On our way out of the park we had the best sightings:

Gerenuk

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and Vulturine Guineafowls

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The rest of the trip was relaxing on the beach.

Thank you for reading.

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Wonderful photos @Wild Dogger I love the Hyena pup, the Saddle Billed Stork and the Roller especially.

Thank you for posting this report. it brings back memories for me.

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michael-ibk

Thanks, another batch of really great pictures, enjoyed your report a lot, wish it had been longer. :-)

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Zubbie15

Thanks for sharing, lots of great photos but I especially liked the black and white elephants. 

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Christopher Moran

@Wild Dogger ,

While I'm not a birder - I tend to skip those threads on ST :-) - I have to say those images of the LBR and guineafowl are truly outstanding.  Really lovely.

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  • 1 month later...
shazdwn

Just caught up with this report - fantastic photos, I especially love your black and white and action shots.  Plus the vulturine guineafowl - I have never heard of them before, crazy looking birds!

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