prowling lion, grazing hippo

i’ve just finished up a four-day safari. think hat, land-rover, a real tourist deal out of the movies. there were five of us plus driver-guide and cook. the vehicle had plastic roll-up windows and a hatch so we could stand on the seats with heads popped out the roof as the driver took us over rough track through open savannah and shady acacia forest.

first stop was samburu national park, where we saw lions, elephants, buffalo, antelope, giraffes, ostriches, baboons, zebras, and an enormous crocodile. the lions we happened upon as we were entering the park the first day, three lionesses strolling along the river bank in search of dinner. within minutes about ten other safari buses appeared, each vying for the perfect photo. the lions seemed mildly miffed at the intrusion, but didn’t attack despite unheeded warnings by our guide not to stick our heads out the side windows. it made a great opening act to our trip, with stunning landscape, atmospheric campsite, and nearly gourmet dinner to boot. during the night we heard a leopard roar. i thought- i’m in a film, i’m in africa sleeping in the savannah with the lions. crazy.

stunning landscape at samburu prowling lion herd of tourists grazing

we spent two nights in samburu, visited a local village, saw hundreds of elephants roaming across fields and playing in the river, were even charged by one (i have a video of this but it’s too big to upload). i watched the sunset while standing in the land-rover, hair blowing in the wind as we drove, giraffes grazing in the distance. amazing.

mom and baby about to charge playing in the water

samburu tribe playing mancala samburu women singing

safari views giraffe buffalo

the third day was spent mostly driving. by the time we arrived in the camp at lake baringo we were all a little on edge. we set up our tents near the shore just as night was falling. i glanced towards the lake and in the dim light saw a large shape moving around about a hundred feet off. a hippo. two. grazing. during the day they sleep in the lake and at night they get out to graze. in our campsite. the quide said not to worry- they’re scared of flashlights apparently- but i noticed he moved his tent further away from the shore. during the night i woke to hear grunting and something big moving around outside my tent. i didn’t want to test the flashlight theory.
in the morning the hippos were back in the water, along with a couple crocks. we took a boat ride, then headed to lake bogoria for hot springs, geysers, and flamingoes. then went down to lake nakuru- more flamingoes, zebras, pelicans, waterbuck, white rhinos, warthog (like pumba in the lion king) and hyena running along the shore scattering pink flamingoes as he went. and another spectacular sunset.

ostrich crocodile hiding in the reeds view with lilly pads

zebras with flamingoes white rhinos with pelicans flamingoes with buzzards

geyser with flamingoes baboons chillin’ on safari woohoo

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~ by aliciawolcott on November 23, 2007.

One Response to “prowling lion, grazing hippo”

  1. i am incredibly jealous.

    lots of love,
    sara

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