Notices

Back from my trip to Kenya and Tanzania

Reply

Oct 13th, 2007, 01:36 PM
  #1
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Jul 2007
Posts: 46
Back from my trip to Kenya and Tanzania

Hi Everyone, back in the US finally. Here's a few of my photos I put online. I hope to put up my trip report for the safari, Mt. Kili and Lamu soon:

Safari Photos in Slideshow Mode: http://www.flickr.com/photos/saridde...67289120/show/

Safari Photos in individual mode: http://www.flickr.com/photos/saridde...7602267289120/

Some birds that I could use help identifying: http://www.flickr.com/photos/saridde...7602348484237/

By the way, made it to the top of Kili

http://www.flickr.com/photos/saridder/1488504836/

Steve
saridder is offline  
Reply With Quote
Oct 13th, 2007, 02:05 PM
  #2
 
Join Date: Apr 2004
Posts: 4,222
Beautiful photos. I can't get over the light. What camera did you use and what/how did you edit/process? I'm very, very impressed.

Congrats on Kili too. Can't wait for the full report.
Leely is offline  
Reply With Quote
Oct 13th, 2007, 05:12 PM
  #3
 
Join Date: Nov 2004
Posts: 14,440
Congrats on your successful Kili climb and as well as the photographic conquests on the ground. You have some lovely animal photos with brilliant coloring. The b&w shop at the equator might win some contests.
atravelynn is offline  
Reply With Quote
Oct 13th, 2007, 05:14 PM
  #4
 
Join Date: Jun 2006
Posts: 2,881
Nice gallery Steve ...

Some birds that I could use help identifying:

Some educated guesses:

(b) - Vulturine guineafowl
(c,d) - Helmeted guineafowl
(e) - Yellow-necked spurfowl
(f) - Red-billed hornbill
(g) - sandgrouse (maybe Yellow-throated sandgrouse)
(bird) - starling (likely Superb starling)

(storks) Yellow-billed stork

Bill

Bill_H is offline  
Reply With Quote
Oct 13th, 2007, 09:53 PM
  #5
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Jul 2007
Posts: 46
Thank you everyone. It's really not me who's good at photograpy, I just had really great subjects. I thank the animals
saridder is offline  
Reply With Quote
Oct 13th, 2007, 10:14 PM
  #6
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Jul 2007
Posts: 46
@ Leely

Beautiful photos. I can't get over the light. What camera did you use and what/how did you edit/process? I'm very, very impressed.

I bought a Canon Digital Rebel XTi and 3 lenses - 10-22, 17-85IS and 70-300IS. I had different filters on each lens and I will use only the polarizing filters from now on (had a neutral density on 10-22, a polarizing on the 17-85 and a IR on the 70-300.

Most of my shots were either in sunrise or sunset, except for anything in Lake Nakuru, as it was all in mid-day (except for the beautiful leopard on the yellow-fever Acacia tree.

Once again, I'm not a good photographer, just lucky enough to find gorgeous animals in the right light at the right time.

Steve
saridder is offline  
Reply With Quote
Oct 14th, 2007, 01:05 AM
  #7
 
Join Date: Oct 2007
Posts: 12
Beautiful pictures, I must tell you,
I can tell from the pictures how wonderful your trip was.

Congs!!! Saridder
5221 is offline  
Reply With Quote
Oct 14th, 2007, 07:36 AM
  #8
 
Join Date: Feb 2005
Posts: 2,309
Karibu nyumbani. Picha nzuri sana!
Nyamera is offline  
Reply With Quote
Oct 14th, 2007, 10:27 AM
  #9
 
Join Date: Feb 2007
Posts: 875
Thanks saridder. Beautiful photos! The coloring and clarity are magnificent, in addition to the subject matter.
Dana_M is offline  
Reply With Quote
Oct 14th, 2007, 03:46 PM
  #10
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Jul 2007
Posts: 46
Hi Everyone,

Does anyone know what this animal is?

http://www.flickr.com/photos/saridder/1571760617/

Thanks in advance

Steve
saridder is offline  
Reply With Quote
Oct 14th, 2007, 04:17 PM
  #11
 
Join Date: Jun 2006
Posts: 2,881
Does anyone know what this animal is?

generuk
Bill_H is offline  
Reply With Quote
Oct 14th, 2007, 04:18 PM
  #12
 
Join Date: Feb 2004
Posts: 1,922
Steve-
Great photos. Thanks for sharing. Looking forward to the trip report.

The animal you're asking about in your photo is a
"Gerenuk."
Known for eating on their hind legs as demonstrated in your photo, and a great photo of one, BTW. They're pretty elusive and hard to catch on camera.
divewop is offline  
Reply With Quote
Oct 14th, 2007, 04:22 PM
  #13
 
Join Date: Oct 2005
Posts: 1,774
That's a gerenuk, part of the Samburu Big 5. (found only the dry, semi arid country above the equator around Samburu, etc.)

Wonderful, Awesome pictures!!!
LyndaS is offline  
Reply With Quote
Oct 14th, 2007, 05:00 PM
  #14
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Jul 2007
Posts: 46
what animals are considered part of the samburu Big 5?
saridder is offline  
Reply With Quote
Oct 14th, 2007, 05:45 PM
  #15
 
Join Date: Oct 2005
Posts: 1,774
The Samburu 5 is the -
gerenuk
Somali ostrich
Grevy's zebra
Beisa Oryx
Reticulated giraffe

We were there in May, we didn't see any ostrich which is kind of odd I would think!
LyndaS is offline  
Reply With Quote
Oct 14th, 2007, 07:01 PM
  #16
yi
 
Join Date: Sep 2005
Posts: 65
Great pictures. Really enjoyed them. On which day did u go to Lake Nakuru?

Yi
http://www.pbase.com/monicawong/kenya_safari_2007_
yi is offline  
Reply With Quote
Oct 15th, 2007, 08:11 AM
  #17
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Jul 2007
Posts: 46
Thanks, yours are great too. Love the lion pics. I was in Lake nakuru about a week before you, I think on the 19th or so?

Steve
saridder is offline  
Reply With Quote
Oct 15th, 2007, 11:14 AM
  #18
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 12,700
Congrats on your summit! Thanks for sharing your wonderful safari photos. Any photos of Lamu?
Patty is offline  
Reply With Quote
Oct 16th, 2007, 05:15 AM
  #19
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Jul 2007
Posts: 46
yes I have Kili and Lamu photos, will post later
saridder is offline  
Reply With Quote
Oct 16th, 2007, 05:17 AM
  #20
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Jul 2007
Posts: 46
Trip Report

Day 1 – September 15, 2007

Flew from JFK to LHR and onto NBO – about 27 hours of traveling! Great flights and didn’t have any issues with lost bags, stolen items, etc. Passed right through customs, got my bags and walked into the airport which was chaos to me. It seemed like a very small area and was crawling with people offering taxi’s. I had arranged a driver to pick me up but couldn’t locate him, so I ended up having someone there take me to the hotel. I was quite startled when I saw the car – it didn’t say taxi, didn’t seem to be in the best mechanical condition and was all in all quite sketchy. Pulled into my hotel and was shocked again when I saw that everything was behind guard and gate. Welcome to Africa

My tour operator was GAP Adventures and I was quite nervous about them, since I couldn’t find much info on them. I wanted an adventure-style vacation where I’d rough it a bit, so this trip was a camping trip where we’d be sleeping in 2 man tents. By the end of the trip I couldn’t have been more pleased with them and they (and the trip) exceeded my expectations in every way.

Day 2 - September 16, 2007

The next day I was interested in walking around Nairobi a bit and made a go at it. I was quite nervous (I figured the gates must be there for a reason) and walked about 500 feet before getting nervous enough to just walk into another gated hotel to have a few Tuskers. So much for exploring Nairobi. After realizing that it was getting close to dusk and not wanting to risk my life anymore (later I would realize just how silly I was – Nairobi was pretty safe in my area), I decided to wash up and go to Carnivore. Had a great meal and afterwards it was time to meet my group that I’d spend the next week with. The entire group was all similar to my age and it was great to meet everyone, there were 14 people total. I knew we’d have a great a week after seeing how fun everyone was.

Day 3 – September 17, 2007

The next day we packed up and left Nairobi for Samburu NP at 8 AM. Once again, I was SHOCKED as I drove through Nairobi. Right in downtown there were shacks, chickens, little vans that were packed like sardeens that acted as busses for the locals, stray dogs and just throngs of people. The traffic in downtown Nairobi was pretty bad and the first thing I noticed was that there were no anti-smog laws in Kenya. I was chocking on exhaust fumes almost from the start of the trip. The trucks were 4x4 “pop top” vans, very roomy and we only had 4 people plus our driver in each car.

We passed through the country side on our way to Sabmuru and it was a beautiful country. Our driver was from the tribe right outside Kenya so he was very informative about the local scenery. One of our most memorable stops was in Nanyuki where we were to stock up on beer, water, food, etc.. For a 3rd world country, the prices were similar to what they’d be in the US and this was a local’s grocery store, so I am still wondering how people could afford this stuff. The only thing that was cheap was beer, which was about 75 KSH a bottle, but everything else seems quite expensive.

Outside the store we had our first experience with the local street vendors and were bombarded by people all selling wooden elephants and other trinkets at outrageous prices. No matter how many times I’d say “no thank you” or “I’m not interested” they didn’t listen and keep pressing on. It was quite unnerving and took me a few days before I just grew calloused enough to them to be rude and ignore them with an abrupt “no.” The people were all very friendly, if pushy, and as we drove, kids would stop and wave to us.

We stopped for lunch and this is where I took this photo (http://flickr.com/photos/saridder/15...7602267289120/). This was also the first time I heard that “welcome to Kenya song” sung in Swahili. I can’t remember the words right now, but it starts off with “jambo” and ends with “hakuna matata.” Little did I know that I’d be hearing that song sung all over Kenya and Tanzania.

We kept driving through to Samburu and had to stop at a police checkpoint in Isiolo. There were plenty of police checkpoint and I was wondering why we were stopped at this one. Of course there were plenty of street vendors trying to sell us stuff. Later I asked why we were stopped at this checkpoint and he said that a few years ago, the ahead was quite dangerous as many Somalis and bandits roamed the area and robbed trucks passing though, so we had to check in and check out as we left to alert the authorities that we were safe. It’s not like that anymore, but the people of Isiolo were quite rude, seems a little hostile and were quite different from the rest of the country.

As soon as we left Isiolo the “road” turned to hell. It seemed like it was once paved but that must have been millennia ago. This was the worst road I’d ever experienced and it was so bad that most of the time we actually drove off the road along the side of it!! At this point, most of the scenery along Kenya was quite poor towns, shacks and curios (many painted green with SafariCom logos or red with Coke logos), but in this area the buildings turned to mud huts and the people were wearing tribal dress. Now was in Africa! This was also my first animal sighting in Africa – an Arabian Camel. The land at this point had long ago turned from lush green mountainous farms into a dusty, dry, hot (did I mention dusty), landscape covered with Acacia trees.

By about 4 PM we’d arrived in Samburu. After a few minutes in the park we saw a herd of elephants and I noticed how reddish-brown they were. Most of the elephants I’d ever seen were always grey. What really amazed me was how they didn’t seem to notice us at all, or so I thought. So at one point I was haning out the side window taking a photo of an elephant about 20 feet away from me when all of a sudden he put out his ears and did a mock charge at us. At least I assume it was a mock charge. Our driver quite quickly backed up and he crossed the road without paying any more attention to us. I’m not sure the damage an elephant could even do to a van, but we didn’t wait around to find out.

From here on we saw countless impala, gazelles, Riticulated Giraffes and the Gerenuk (http://flickr.com/photos/saridder/1571760617/) I asked the group about earlier. I was surprised that I only saw one zebra the whole evening, a Grevy’s zebra. None of the Big 5 tonight, but I didn’t realize until this group told me that there was a Samburu Big 5, so already I’d seen 3 of the 5.

Our camp was along the Uaso Nyiro River (is that the correct river in Samburu?) and it was just how I expected Africa to be. We were about 50 feet away from the river and right across the river was a large crocodile! The camp was swarming with Black-faced Vervet Monkeys and Baboons and alive with all the noises they make. Almost right away the drivers and most of the group were looking and pointing across the river at a Leopard being chased by group of Baboons! The tour leader said that a group of Baboons could easily kill a Leopard and that’s why the leopard ran away, which was shocking to me I barely saw since it was so far away and getting close to dark, but that was Leopard sighting #1 After this I saw my first Black-faced vervet monkey and it was carrying a small (very very small) baby. It looked dead to me but it ran by so fast that I couldn’t tell. I was smack in the middle of wildlife in the middle Samburu NP and couldn’t have been happier.

We all sat around a camp fire, ate dinner and drank beer and got to know one another. The monkeys seemed to be shouting all night and when I asked my trip leader what they were shouting about, he said they fight over spots to sleep. But they must fight all night and never sleep as I don’t recall them ever settling down. Then there were the bats flying around and squealing and squeaking overhead. The only other sighting of note was when I was talking to someone in my group and noticed a shadow moving along the ground behind them. I shined my flashlight on it and it was a yellowish looking scorpion! Maybe now this is too much Africa for me, but I certainly was getting my fair share of wild life for one night, and it was still only day 1!

saridder is offline  
Reply With Quote
 


Thread Tools
Search this Thread
Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are On



All times are GMT -8. The time now is 11:58 PM.