Day 3: Samburu National Reserve
Today we spent the entire day at the Samburu National Reserve, starting with a 6am game drive before breakfast. Our luck started right away with a good baboon sighting…
…a secretary bird (wearing his fancy black tights!)…
…and FINALLY… ELEPHANTS!
After lunch, we headed out to a Samburu village to see what the traditional way of life is. The Samburu tribes have a lot of similarities to the Maasai tribes we’d see later in our trip. The tribes survive mainly off of blood and milk from cows, so one of the key roles in the village is herding the cows to find grass. Women’s roles include building the homes and taking care of the children. If children are able to attend school, it is often many kilometres from the village, and sending children to school can actually be seen as a punishment (the strongest children are needed to work). The boys become warriors who protect the camps from wild animals after a communal ceremony (which includes circumcision) which happens in the village about once every 10 years (when the boys are 10-20 years old). Once a new group of boys become warriors, the existing warriors marry.
This guy was our tour guide who showed us the inside of one of their houses. This particular hut sleeps a family of 6. He referred to a guy in our group as father because he had the same name as his late father.
Visiting the village was an experience we will never forget. We felt very conflicted as we left the village, because we don’t know how to help the people who live in these villages - just handing them money might make us feel better but I don’t think it is the solution.
Following the village visit, we had another game drive before dinner. We were very fortunate and saw 3 herds of elephants crossing a river (over 100 elephants!).
..this little guy was completely under water, with just his trunk sticking out!
…and me being immature (but seriously - the size of it!)…
..ok last one… after seeing the herds cross the river we bumped into them later where they ended up blocking the road. We had to get quite close to them in order to get by, and one guy took a step towards us with his ears out and I thought for sure he was going to charge (no photos because I ducked down in fear haha). Our driver knew what he was doing, and we peacefully made our way past!
…male ostriches are very cool creatures…
…crocodile chillaxing on a rock…
…and so many baboons!!!
Whew - Day 3 was a busy one!!
Day 2: Samburu National Reserve
New animal sightings:
We got up bright and early in Nairobi and started our 5 hour drive out to Samburu National Reserve to start the safari! We were traveling with a group of 12 people in 2 safari vehicles.
Today was our first glimpse of Kenya, and the scenery during our drive was definitely eye opening.
After arriving at the reserve, we spent the afternoon doing our first safari. Dave was in his element once we popped the top of the safari vehicle:
Day 1 was definitely a success. We headed to our camp as the sun was setting, and were pleased to have our first lion sighting. These guys were so close to our camp that we could hear them chuffing through the night!
This is our camp for the next 2 nights.
Not exactly roughing it…
This camp was one of my favourites. It was gorgeous, food was delicious, drinks were plentiful :) Best of all, vervet monkeys were everywhere. They would run around in circles playing on top of our tent, try to steal food from the restaurant, and one little guy tried to sneak into our neighbour’s tent! Very entertaining :)
Day 1: Arrive in Nairobi
We arrived at our camp in Nairobi right in time for bed. We stayed at Wildebeest Eco Camp (http://wildebeestecocamp.com) for our first taste of luxury tented camps in Africa. Dave was pumped.
Another shot of where we stayed: