Jump to content

Cheetahs in Nairobi and Elephants in front of Kilimanjaro: A magical Kenya Trip Report


pscrimshaw

Recommended Posts

pscrimshaw

What an experience this was! For years I have wanted to plan an ultimate trip to East Africa that combined all the major safari destinations/activities. This included gorilla trekking in the Virunga Mountains, trying to photograph elephants in front of Mt. Kilimanjaro, and a trip to a new country that I still need to write up a report on! I wrote my first trip report on this site from my time gorilla trekking in Rwanda, and greatly appreciated all the kind words that people gave me.

You can find that previous trip report which I wrote here: https://www.safaritalk.net/topic/22814-gorillas-in-the-mountains-of-rwanda

And for those that are less inclined to read a long trip report, I've made a couple of YouTube videos which go over the entire trip to these various parks. 

 

 

 
 

 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

pscrimshaw

Starting off my trip after a 20 hour flight to Kenya, I somehow had the bright idea to go on an all day safari to Nairobi National Park before the official start of my trip. I arrived at my hotel in Nairobi at around 1 AM, and then promptly woke up at 5AM for my game drive. Needless to say I will never be making that mistake again. But we did have an amazing trip to the park, with good sightings of giraffe, hyena, rhinos, some lions that took over a picnic site. The real treat though was finding Imara, the resident cheetah of the park with her one cub. We searched for over and hour to find them, but luckily they came right out on the road and posed beautifully. Nairobi National Park may not be one of the most popular for safari goers, but I personally love it and think it's a great warm up destination for wildlife photographers.

 
 
 
 
 
e328bb_1629701865c841698e3f0fad1d0b7097~
Nairobi National Park is the perfect example of human-wildlife coexistence
 
 
 
e328bb_7a2b622c6daf40ffaddce25f63558fa9~
It would have been nice to stop at this picnic site for lunch, but lions decided to use it for shade instead
 
 
 
e328bb_3d63e9b2b938420bb0718e8d37a8c365~
Capturing wildlife in front of the city skyline was a main goal of mine
 
 
 
e328bb_839f215dc27d4fd1aab415ef4023cfc9~
White rhinos are very common, and this is one of their strongholds across all of Africa
 
 
 
e328bb_6437b72064134541ae1ad093a92e2031~
 

Imara with her one cub. She's one of the few cheetahs here, so seeing her was very rare
 

After an amazing day trip to Nairobi National Park, I headed off to Rwanda to do the gorilla and golden monkey trekking which I mentioned above. This was probably my most productive trip to Nairobi National Park, and seeing a cheetah was an amazing treat for me.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

pscrimshaw

After wrapping up my time in Rwanda, it was off to the airport to catch my flight back to Nairobi. Then the real safari could begin.

 
 
 

The following morning we made our way south towards Amboseli National Park. I have visited the park many times during the dry season, but it is honestly so depressing to see the death and struggling animals at that time of year. This time the park was so green and filled with life, which was a total 180 from my previous trips.

 
 
 
 
 
e328bb_9bba2e56583e4b988804af5435541932~
With plenty of rain and food to eat, the animals of Amboseli are enjoying the good times
 
 
 
e328bb_53e48271164e40aa892fc87038fcfa1b~
The landscape during this time of year is totally different than during the dry season
 
 
 
e328bb_db8bbc11dc764699a7dde49d8838b09d~
With so much green, the wildlife real contrasts nicely
 

The real objective this time though was for one very specific type of photo: elephants in front of Mt. Kilimanjaro. The mountain never plays nice for photographers, but the tricky part is actually finding elephants to put in front of the mountain. Call it destiny or fate or whatever you want, but by some miracle every single day in Amboseli the mountain was out perfectly, and every single day I got my elephant photos. I think I can never got back to Amboseli because nothing will ever top these shots for me.

 
 
 
 
 
e328bb_b03abcf657c4451ea6857be391fd7eba~
One of the most magical photos I've ever taken
 
 
 
e328bb_3a70cc79e0434cbeaa36ca15dca1ec28~
Every morning the mountain came out and every morning so did the elephants
 
 
 
e328bb_a1152584d47740e4b0994b16128d7097~
The hits just kept coming. This time with a hot air ballon!
 
 
 
e328bb_45191721456c445b8876ca272274577d~
I couldn't script the scene any better than this
 
 
 
e328bb_a6d3d1c027bb493fb5c3134ee9c6e32a~
Pure magic
 

My time in Amboseli was just next level. I seriously believe that I'll never be able to top this, and should probably go buy a lottery ticket now.

Thanks so much for reading! I'll have to start working on the next part of my trip report where I head to a brand new East African country for myself. I promise I'll get that one out soon!

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Stunning Amboseli pictures. As you said, you could not have got the elephants to pose better for you and even more importantly, the Killi summit was cloud free during your visit. Thanks for sharing. 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

John M.
On 6/2/2024 at 8:57 AM, pscrimshaw said:

 

One of the most magical photos I've ever taken

   Another one worthy of covering a wall!

Link to comment
Share on other sites

KaliCA

Just beautiful and evocative!

Thanks for showing your work.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

ricmiles

Beautiful shots with the Nairobi skyline and a Kili as a backdrop. Thanks for these

Link to comment
Share on other sites

gatoratlarge

Gorgeous!!! Thank you. 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

michael-ibk

Beautiful Amboseli photos,  and very cool to get Cheetah in NNP!

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • 2 weeks later...

Stunning Photos of Ellies in Amoseli! Also very good sightings in NNP.

But what I love the most are your videos (subscribed ;-). I again see how important the good narration is! The footage can be not so good in some shots but you telling a story is excellent! The videos are getting just to the other level. You also zoom out your photos in videos what I find very interesting and nice. 

The photos are, of course, amazing. But when I know the story behind it is even more valuable.

What month were you visiting Amboseli? It is long time on my list but I've never been there. However, I'm more interested in Amboseli than in Mara. I was thinking if it is possible to combine Amboseli with Ndutu in Feb-March. The question is if Amboseli looks like this? I know, you can see Kili not every month...

Have you been self-driving or did you have a private vehicle? You mentioned that you were waiting for an elephant  (Pascal?) to cross in front of the Kili. You can do it only when you are alone, I suppose.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

On 6/2/2024 at 10:37 PM, John M. said:

   Another one worthy of covering a wall!

Yes I will definitely be making some large prints from these!

Link to comment
Share on other sites

11 hours ago, ElenaH said:

Stunning Photos of Ellies in Amoseli! Also very good sightings in NNP.

But what I love the most are your videos (subscribed ;-). I again see how important the good narration is! The footage can be not so good in some shots but you telling a story is excellent! The videos are getting just to the other level. You also zoom out your photos in videos what I find very interesting and nice. 

The photos are, of course, amazing. But when I know the story behind it is even more valuable.

What month were you visiting Amboseli? It is long time on my list but I've never been there. However, I'm more interested in Amboseli than in Mara. I was thinking if it is possible to combine Amboseli with Ndutu in Feb-March. The question is if Amboseli looks like this? I know, you can see Kili not every month...

Have you been self-driving or did you have a private vehicle? You mentioned that you were waiting for an elephant  (Pascal?) to cross in front of the Kili. You can do it only when you are alone, I suppose.

Hi Elena! Thank you so much! Funny enough I was just watching your Mana Pools video with the wild dogs from this morning. Small world!

I'm still figuring out what my style is as a YouTuber (that feels weird to call myself but true), but personally I think creating a narrative and weaving that with the photography is how I like to create these videos. 

I was in Amboseli this past March, and it was my first time in Kenya where I didn't go to the Mara. I chose this time of year because I had never been to the park in the green season, and the rain is helpful at preventing the build up of dust and clouds that often times cover up Kilimanjaro at other times. Just for reference, I've only seen Kilimanjaro clearly once in the dry season, and that was only for about 30 minutes or so. This last trip, it was in clear view every single day! Amboseli is a great choice if you're trying to combine it with Tanzania, but much like the rest of East Africa you don't really self drive here. It's almost always with private guided vehicles, and in fact the Mara just recently passed a rule where you can no longer bring your self drive vehicle.

HOWEVER, I will say that Amboseli is probably the one major park where you could self drive because the park is mostly flat and clear so it's very easy to get around and find game on your own without getting lost. I'm not so familiar with the companies that will rent you a vehicle, but they do exist in Nairobi. If you have the time and patience, you can find so many incredible things in Amboseli, even the big tuskers!

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now
×
×
  • Create New...

Important Information

Safaritalk uses cookies to ensure you get the best experience on our website. By using Safaritalk you agree to our use of cookies. If you wish to refuse the setting of cookies you can change settings on your browser to clear and block cookies. However, by doing so, Safaritalk may not work properly and you may not be able to access all areas. If you are happy to accept cookies and haven't adjusted browser settings to refuse cookies, Safaritalk will issue cookies when you log on to our site. Please also take a moment to read the Terms and Conditions and Privacy Policy: Terms of Use l Privacy Policy