Animals of Samburu
We are spending our first night at the Intrepid, a glamour camping resort. Our big camping tent is made out of canvas with zip down windows which open to covered mesh for cross ventilation and to keep the bugs out.
The zipper entrance is oh-so-complicated with a triple fastener system, because the vervet monkeys that live in the trees above and cunning and smart, and very anxious to get into the tents to discover what goodies you’re carrying in your luggage. Given the chance, they’ll get in, have themselves a wild party, and destroy everything in the process.
The wood framed beds are completely framed with mosquito netting on all sides, and you suddenly feel transported to the movie Out of Africa. Not to worry…fully functioning sinks, hot shower, and electricity all included, except during the hours of midnight to five am and from three to six in the afternoon. That’s when the entire place shuts down. They are really running off a generator since we are in the middle of nowhere and they try to conserve during those hours.
The Samburu Game Reserve is much smaller than where we were yesterday, only 160 square kilometers, half the size of yesterday’s Buffalo Springs Reserve. That’s a lot less area for the animals to hide…at least that’s what we are hoping.
We leave at 7:30 am. It’s lovely in the morning because the air is still crisp and cool. It’s miles and miles of dry wilderness that you wonder where can the animals hide, how and what do they eat, and how can they survive.
These things are everywhere. Termites can kill an entire tree. Many of these nests are five to six feet tall. Yuck.
Sometimes we see solitary animals, other times they are in herds. Most of their days are spent trying to find food. The rest of the time, they are trying to avoid becoming food for some other animal.
Why do elephants have wrinkles? To hold the water and the mud to keep their bodies cool and keep the biting bugs away. Who knew? They have so much fun getting all muddy and dusty!
Many of the big cats are quite elusive. They are rare to see, and difficult to take photos of them because they hide well, and they are very fast. With this being our first full day of Safari game drive, we got incredibly lucky to see some incredible big cats. I have to hand it to our fabulous guide. He was genius at finding the animals and positioning us in a place to photograph them.
The guides are really good about communicating together to locate the animals. Our guide heard about one of the most elusive animals that is rarely seen. There was a mama leopard with her baby cub. She was hiding in a bushy area of a rocky hill, that covered about a square block of area. Our Jeep was going round and round, trying to see where she would pop out. After being very patient, we finally saw her and it was certainly worth the wait of being patient!!
When we finally saw the baby, she was really tiny…we are guessing she weighed about fifteen pounds.
I don’t think our day could have been more exciting. It’s only our second day, and we have now seen three of the Big Five…the elephant, lion, and the leopard. We just can’t wait for tomorrow!!